January 30, 2005
Some Sage Parenting Advice

If you had the opportunity to get some great advice about raising your children to become responsible adults would you listen? I definitely would. What if this person is 82 years old, has been married for 56 years, has three grown children, has taught Sunday School for half a century and is the CEO/founder of a national fast food chain called Chick-Fil-A? Well, hopefully I've peaked your curiosity so that I can tell you all about him now.

This person's name is Truett Cathy. Even though he has the excellent credentials of founding a nationwide successful business you'll be even more impressed that he is an author of a book to take notice of if you're a parent struggling to raise your children right.
The book Mr. Cathy has written is called It's Better to Build Boys Than to Mend Men. I was excited to learn about this book on a radio program called Family Life Today with Dennis Rainey. Mr. Cathy thoroughly discusses his book. I love to hear radio shows that highlight a book with the author present because you get to hear why they wrote the book, their background, and what they consider the very best parts of their book!

When Truett Cathy was growing up his Dad was present in the home but did not invest his time and energy in his son. Instead young Truett learned about success in life watching his mother. In the broadcast the author said he realized when he was young "If I ever have anything in life I'd have to work for it." The author has had lots of opportunities to work with children and teenagers. He raised three of his own and has several grandchildren. He has worked with teenagers throughout the years teaching them good work ethics which honor God in his business. Throughout his many years of teaching Sunday School he has taught the Bible to young boys.

The author gives us some sage parenting advice in his book. Even though it focuses on boys, there's some great advice in there for raising both boys and girls. I consider it the highlight of the book. I am quoting the list from the radio broadcast.

7 Reminders for Building Children

1. Stop arguing in front of your children.
2. You may think your children have outgrown the desire to be rocked to sleep at night, they haven't.
3. Every child I know who overcame long odds and grew into responsible adults can point to an adult who stepped into their life as a friend, mentor, and guide.
4. Don't be too concerned that your children don't listen to you. Be very concerned that they see everything you do.
5. Be so consistent in your discipline that you're boring.
6. Children will never believe in the covenant of marriage unless they see you living it with their own eyes.
7. How do you know if a child needs encouragement? Well, if the child is breathing, they need encouragement.

This is some great info. If you're like me you'll want to read through it, try one or two of them out on your children and then come back, refresh your memory and apply the others.

Posted by Linda at 08:51 PM
January 27, 2005
Thank God I Get to Vote

When the founding fathers of America signed the Declaration of Independence they understood that they were accepting the possibility that they and their families could be killed for doing so. But because of what they did 228 years ago, today I have much freedom and I get to vote for my leaders. I did so in the last presidential election.

On Election Day, I went to work as I always do and planned to vote afterwards. Danny and I had been preparing for this election. We received a voter's guide newspaper in the mail. It told the views of candidates on important issues. We filled it out then I took it to work.

All through the day I asked my co-workers if they were going to vote. Pat said yes. She was very concerned about this election and she liked discussing the views of the candidates. I asked Deborah if she was going to vote and she said she didn't plan on it because they're all corrupt anyway. When I asked James he said he doesn't like politics and he's not registered. Patty told me about a month before that she wanted to go register but I knew she hadn't. At lunch my little sister Deena and I discussed the candidates because she would vote on her way home. When I was getting ready to leave
I asked my conservative friend Damon if he was going to vote. He said no and didn't consider it very important. Finally, I went to see my friend Gerald in his office. I had a voter's guide in my hand and talked to him trying to get him excited about voting. He said he wouldn't get off work in time. I told him it is a law that our company has to let us go vote if we need to. Then I told him this, "There is a famous quote by Edmond Burke. It says, 'The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.' And Gerald, you are a good man!" I wasn't able to persuade him.

Then I left and went to vote. It was the simplest thing. With my voter's guide under my arm I walked into the Methodist Church, voted and then went to my home and family about half of a mile away. We then had a peaceful evening and watched the election turnouts on television.

I've been watching the news about the elections that will be held in Iraq. General Hammond of the U.S. Army was interviewed. He told how the poling places will have layers of security; There will be the Iraqi police, then the Iraqi Army and then the outermost layer will be the American Military. There have been several poling places that have been bombed now just a few days before the election. The terrorists are putting out videos on the internet threatening people not to vote. The candidates also have been threatened and even if a candidate loses the terrorists are threatening to harm them. There has sadly been a new report of an American man taken hostage by the terrorists and they threaten to behead him. There are 4 million voters in Baghdad and even though there are all of these barriers our military says they still expect a high turnout.

There are possibilities that some will die because of participation in the Iraqi elections. In all of my voting life, about 20 years, I have never had to fear for my life or family because I voted. I truly thank God for that. And as I watch this very historical Iraqi election take place and see the democratic process unfold in what was once a severely oppressed land led by a tyrant, I intend to remember all the important details so I can stress to my children why it is a true privilege as an American citizen that we get to vote.

Posted by Linda at 06:01 PM
January 26, 2005
Earliest Memories

My little sister, Penny, recently suggested that I write some about my childhood. She said she would enjoy learning more about our family. There is about a 12 year difference in our ages. So I decided to think as far back as I could.

When I was about four years old I lived in a two bedroom house in a little town called Carbondale. We were crowded. I had three older brothers and my baby brother. There were seven of us living there! I can remember my oldest brother had a bed out on the back porch. This was about 35 years ago.

In my most vivid memory I was standing in the front yard of our home looking down at my hand as it was getting dark. I had burnt my hand on an iron. It had a big puffy blister in the palm. I decided I would bust the blister. I soon learned the reality that when you bust blisters they will burn. I ran in the house crying and showed Mom. I then think she put some kind of cream on it. That's the earliest memory I could remember.

Dr. James Dobson, well known Christian psychologist, once told of his earliest childhood memory on his radio program, Focus on the Family. When he told it I could hardly believe it. He said he remembers lying in a crib and his grandmother (possibly great) was leaning into his bed. He remembers she had a hat on that had two ties hanging down from her head and they had little puffballs on the end.

Danny and I have tried to nurture this ability in our children. Some say traumatic memories can remain more vivid in our mind. When our oldest, Samuel, was about 2 and his younger brother, Jonathan, was still a baby such an instance occurred. We were all in the living room and Danny was reading a book to us. Suddenly someone came by and threw a porch light globe through our big front window. Glass flew everywhere but no one got hurt. I put Sam in his high chair to keep him safe from any broken glass. Samuel couldn't speak real well but when the police came, he stood up in his high chair, and said, "Gas boke." over and over to the police officer. The man was kind and helped calm him down. So from time to time we'll ask Sam if he remembers. But I think it's mostly vague to him now.

That's all I'll do right now. I'll be able to do more entries about growing up in the days, weeks and months to come.

Posted by Linda at 07:01 PM
January 23, 2005
Purpose Driven Life Book

Have you ever heard of this book? It's well worth the time you would take to read it. It gives you the answer to the ultimate question in life, "Why do I exist?" Or as the book says, "What on earth am I here for?" If you would like to buy the book you can get it for around $12. Check out half.com (linked to E Bay). You can get it there as a used book there for about $5.

I learned about it at my church, the entire church took the time to study it in 2004. We studied it for 40 days. We would use a video with the author as the speaker in our Sunday School class and then we would listen to our pastor give a sermon over it. This is going on all over the country.

There are so many good points in it that I want to put them in my blog. I hope you won't get bored with my postings because they give a good message. If you've ever wondered what to do with your life here is a book that can give you peace of mind.

The book has sold over a million copies since it was published in 2002. It has been translated into 20 different languages. It has even been used in the countries where the Tsunami hit. It is also used in seminaries all over America. It has a ton of credentials but it gives us a crucial message in a simple and easy-to-understand way.

The author is Rick Warren. He is the pastor of a church in California. It started out in a home with one family attending in 1980 and today 16,000 attend in a huge church building! He also attended seminary the same place my husband did.

If you want to know more go to the purposedrivenlife.com website

Posted by Linda at 08:18 PM
January 22, 2005
The Fly That Held On

Stacy and I were going home from work like usual. It was my day to drive. We were casually talking and I was about to reach the 65 mph stretch of 46th street when Stacy noticed something unusual. From the passenger side of the front seat she saw what appeared to be a fly on the front windshield directly in front of me. It was a fly! It had probably been there since I stopped at the Mingo road stoplight about 3 miles back. I had been continually gaining speed since then. Our attention was now soley focused on it. We kept waiting for it to blow off but it wouldn't. How could such a tiny creature muster up so much strength? I was relentless with the gas peddle because I wanted to get home. A theory popped into my head. Maybe the fly regergitated (like flies always do) and that was what superglued its little legs to the windshield. A car's front windshield is very smooth and in the movies the bad guys always end up sliding off. Maybe it had a couple of microscopic claws on its legs that can grip like who knows what. I didn't know but we were still both amazed.

We began commenting about the character of this tiny bug. We talked of how he (it) had courage and lots of determination. He was not average. It seemed to me this one wasn't some pesky fly that you hated with a passion because it kept buzzing around your head while you were eating and would land on your plate so that it definitely deserved the death of a brisk hit from a cheap plastic fly swatter that even all of its keen eyes didn't see coming.

I then tried to imagine what it was doing before it landed on the car. For some reason (maybe because I hate icky flies)I thought it might have been gathering some disgusting nourishment from dog poop or something even worse along the side of the road. I think this fly had an higher I.Q. than most. It's little microscopic speck of a brain was focused on one goal; that is, to cling to life with every fiber of its being (even though its legs would be considered six of those fibers).

Stacy and I quietly watched. I had reached 65. Was it gonna hold out until we got to the Port intersection? Deep in our hearts we both wanted it to. Finally, the sad ending came. It blew off to only God would know where. Stacy and I, at the same time, gave out a small gasp. I kind of wished the fly would have made it to the next stop but even though that didn't happen I must still say I had great admiration for it's determination to go against all odds and to endure until the end! Maybe someday when I'm going through a struggle I'll think back for a tiny bit to the fly who had stick-to-itiveness in the midst of a major struggle and gain some inspiration for my own life.

Posted by Linda at 11:16 AM
January 18, 2005
An Unselfish Gift

Kathy didn't have a car and needed to buy a few things from Wal-mart. I was glad for the opportunity to help someone out so I called her and told her I was available. She had a friendly voice and gave me descriptive details of how to get to her apartment. When I arrived I saw an older woman standing near the curb in the front of the building. I pulled up near her, got out and asked if she was Kathy. She said yes, then we got in the car and left.

As we began to talk I knew we would enjoy our little shopping trip. When we arrived at the store she showed me the grocery list she had written of about ten items from hand lotion to frozen waffles to the traditional orange and black halloween candy. She then grabbed my arm and we began our walk throughout the store looking for everything on the list. As we went down each aisle we would talk about the details of our shopping. We did find it all except for one item, the black and orange candy. We looked up and down the Halloween aisle and then asked the clerk. They didn't have any. I told Kathy we could go to another store.

We easily found the candy at a Dollar General store. Earlier Kathy told me how she liked that particular candy for Halloween because she has a clear glass pumpkin she puts it all in. Then when Thanksgiving time comes she removes all the black candy pieces and she just has orange candy left to fill her pumpkin.

When we arrived at her apartment I brought in the groceries. As soon as I opened the door to her apartment I could smell a nice fragrance in the air. Her house was spotless and I saw her little glass pumpkin on the kitchen table. When I placed the groceries on her spotless kitchen counter I saw a paper towel with a few drops of dried blood on it. I told her where I had placed the groceries and what I had found. That's when I realized she was a diabetic and that was what had probably caused her blindness.

When we were shopping at times I would forget she was blind. Kathy was the first blind person that I have ever really got to be around for a while. When I was getting ready to leave, Kathy thanked me and as she did she looked at me directly and once again for an instance I had to stop and remember that she wasn't able to see me. It was later that I realized she was giving me an unselfish gift. She couldn't use her eyes to see my response but she still looked at me directly so that I would know she honestly meant the words she spoke.

Posted by Linda at 11:18 AM
January 16, 2005
Oh,Grow Up!

"Grow up!" were the words that slipped from my friend Angela's mouth as our two 12 year old sons joked and jumped up and down together in the church foyer after the evening service. I was thinking the same words she said but I also knew she really didn't mean them as she walked away hugging her big son. We had just talked this morning before church how we tell them to grow up sometimes out of frustration. But in actuality we realize their childhood is fading away as they stretch to new heights and require larger clothing sizes.

I've even figured it out percentage wise. Most people live to be about 75. Your childhood probably ends around the age of 15. According to those numbers your childhood is only about 20% of your life. That would mean two things to me as a parent. First, I need to keep an attitude to enjoy them at each age in their childhood and second, I need to stuff their little innocent brains with the purest truth I can offer so they will have a good foundation for their grown up life. A person living to the age of 75 will be a grown up for about 60 years! Oh yeah, and their is a third critical thing I just now remembered, that is prayer. I've got to pray for my four children everyday! This too will help them to have a good adult life.

The passage of time has taken away the opportunity to cuddle my sweet babies but even so that's the way it goes. And like Mary, the mother of Jesus I too, will not forget precious memories. I will determine to remember their cute innocent actions. As much as possible I can take pictures, write things down and from time to time when I'm just thinkin' I'll ponder their memories to keep them fresh in my mind.

So let it be known, like most moms when I'm annoyed and say, "Grow Up!" that doesn't mean to act really serious and responsible like a grown up. It just means act the maturity level you should have for your age and give me a big hug so I'll know you still love me like you did when you were small.

Posted by Linda at 08:15 PM
January 15, 2005
Call Me Daddy

Our oldest son, Samuel, is 12. In the past several months he has been growing and trying new things to develop his own personality. He has a friend he really enjoys being around. When they're together they laugh and act silly just like twelve year old boys ought to do. I know Sam admires his friend, Ben, because he picks up little habits from him. A few months ago Sam started calling his father, Dad, instead of Daddy. I think he learned this from Ben.

I didn't consider it a big serious deal but my husband, Danny, after it had happened several times started telling Samuel he preferred to be called Daddy. Samuel would reply that it sounded babyish. Then Danny would stop what he was doing and explain. Danny remembered several times in the past when a daughter or son would be talking to their father and without even thinking they would say Daddy. Then he told Sam how the word Daddy sounded more caring than just Dad. Even though there is just a two letter difference. I knew this was an important issue. So I would help encourage Samuel also. Samuel would listen but without any concern he would still use the word Dad.

About a year and a half after Danny and I were married we had our first child, Sam. While we dated Danny told me he wanted to name our firstborn son, Samuel Levi. He also told me when I was pregnant that he was glad we would have our first child by his 30th birthday. It was an unspoken desire that God had granted him. Even though Danny said Samuel looked like an alien at birth (because he had a pointed head). I knew he had a sweet peace that he finally had begun the family he always wanted.

Danny is not someone who demands sentimentality. It doesn't bother him to not hear the words "I love you." or other kind terms of endearment. I think it's all paraphrased in the word, "Daddy". He liked that I called my father Daddy even though he would just call his Dad. It also bothers Danny that what Samuel says has already started to influence his little brothers.

My husband definitely deserves the honor of being called Daddy. He has the opportunity to be around Sam and our other 3 children almost 24/7. Samuel and Danny do lots of things together. We always eat our meals together. Danny works with him on his schoolwork. They even talk about personal things. If there's a theological question Samuel has, Danny is there with the best answer. And on Monday nights Danny takes all our children to karate class.

Once again today, Danny and I had another conversation about why the word Daddy is important. We made it lengthy and I even tried to make a passionate plea. Samuel replied that he sometimes says Daddy now. But a few minutes later as he casually talked about the computer part he was cleaning he said Dad as if he didn't even notice what he had just said.

I think Samuel is trying to figure out the balance of not sounding like a baby and giving his father the simple gift of honor he deserves. Maybe we need to get a bumper sticker or picture frame that says has the sweet saying, "Anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a Daddy."

Posted by Linda at 08:49 PM
January 05, 2005
The Best Alarm

There are many different ways people try to solve the problem of waking up early in the morning. Long ago farmers would have a rooster that would crow as soon as it saw the sun coming over the horizon. When I was in school my Mom's knock on my bedroom door (sometimes more than once) would always help me start the day. There have been other times when a sleeping person unknowingly has been rudely awakened with water sloshed from a pail into their face. But of course, most people rely on a simple alarm clock that has a radio with a snooze button they intend to hit once or twice.

In my life this very first struggle of the day has been made into an enjoyment. I've always considered myself a night person, until just recently. Now I can easily awake at 4am so that I can get to work by 6am. How does it happen? It's simple. The answer is my husband helps me.

He gets up 30 minutes earlier than I do from a computer generated "cock-a-doodle-do". He is definitely a "morning person". Once he is up he begins preparing my breakfast and gets the coffee machine started. By 4am the breakfast is ready and he brings it to me on the breakfast-in-bed tray our children got me for Christmas, saying, "Linda, breakfast is ready. You need to wake up and eat it before Sandy gets it." (Sandy is our dog) These words are good motivation. My first thought is, I'm not gonna let the dog steal my hot food. Then the word "food" triggers an innate response within me that says my need for this hot steamy warm food exceeds my need for sleep! (My husband always makes sure I get around 8 hours sleep.) Then I sit up with my big warm cozy quilt snug all around me and begin to eat whatever he likes to fix me (He knows my likes and dislikes). My feet never touch our cold floor. After I finish breakfast I set it aside and do some reading. Then finally I get out of bed 30 minutes after I awake. Oh yeah, and then there is one other little detail. He always serves me some hot tea with breakfast because he knows how much I like it.

Posted by Linda at 07:26 PM
January 03, 2005
What's This Place About?

Hello! I would like to introduce myself and this brand new place on the internet to you. My husband, Danny, has set me up with a blog site. The reason for having this site is to write. I really do love words and the opportunity to use them creatively. I plan to start out slow so I won't get suddenly overwhelmed and then discouraged. I plan to talk about favorite subjects like the Bible, music, and my family. I may not have the time to write something more than once a week. Thank you for coming here to see what I'm about.

Posted by at 03:40 PM