Month: May 2018

Read for Motivation – #MomHack

Monday #MomHack… Read for Motivation.

 

We move every 2-3 years, and that was the norm as I was growing up, too.   You would think I’d have a system down-pat, and know just what to do. . .

 

While that is sort of true, it isn’t really.  I have friends who have spreadsheets they use each move, timelines for move prep, and can declutter/organized/packout in less than a month.

 

Not me.

 

But what DOES work for me (other than hustle and lists) is to read for motivation, to get into the moving mindset.  Reading books and moving hack blogposts, listening to minimalist podcasts and decluttering audio books, . . .  Sure, they could be seen as a distraction from doing the work. But for me, they provide motivation and forward momentum.  

 

“Decluttering at the Speed of Life” (aff)  was recommended by a friend a couple of months ago.  To avoid clutter, of course I bought it on Kindle.  It’s been just the inspiration I need to toss what we don’t need, and get under our 7200lbs weight limit.  (Where did this stuff come from?! I hate shopping. . .  Oh, yeah, we have six kids and homeschool. . .)

 

Pretty good progress the past couple of weeks. . . Five boxes of homeschool books and supplies to homeschool friends, four boxes of don’t-judge-me-by-these-books boxes to my bookclub gals, six boxes of clothes to the Kirk for distribution, four boxes of miscellany donated to the thrift shop, and a partridge in a pear tree. . .

 

Yes, we’re making progress and I’m motivated to do more.

 

 

 

Remembering Hana, 1997 – 2011

Hana Williams, Kidane Mehret

Hana Williams, 1997-2011

It’s been seven years since the death of Hana (Alemu) Williams.

In the past seven years, I am not aware of any further deaths linked to “To Train Up A Child” by Michael and Debi Pearl. But abuse is still happening.

Still, I hear people recommending this resource to new parents — though more hush-hush than before.

We mourn.  Mourn the lives of Sean, Lydia, and Hana.  Mourn the children harmed by their parents, influenced by the Pearls.  Mourn for the lost innocence of the children and church alike.

 

 

God, have mercy.

 

 

Good parenting resources:

(Use discernment — You are the parents God gave your children, and no ones knows them or loves them the way you do!  Most, but not all, of these resources are explicitly Christian.)

Clay and Sally Clarkson / Whole Heart Ministries

Dr. Timothy Sisemore / Our Covenant with Kids

Dr. Ross Campbell / Relational Parenting

National Center for Biblical Parenting

L. R. Knost / Jesus, The Gentle Parent

Dr. Laura Markham / Aha! Parenting

Imperfect Families Coaching

Hand in Hand Parenting

Raising Real Men

 

More about the Pearls / No Greater Joy:

World Magazine, To Brainwash a Parent

Tim Challies, Review of “To Train Up a Child”

Rey Reynoso, An Examination of the Pearl Method

Christianity Today, When Child Discipline Becomes Abuse

Christian Research Institute, Christian Families on the Edge

Why Not Train a Child?: Clearinghouse of Info on the Pearls

C. L. Dyck, Parenting in the Name of God (Theological Analysis)

 

From the TG archives:

What’s the Fuss about Michael and Debi Pearl?

Biblical Relationships or Behaviourism

On the Pearls and Parenting

Pearls Po-Russki

 

 

Remembering Sean Paddock

Remembering Hana Williams

Remembering Lydia Schatz

 

 

Reconciliation: Building a RAFT when we Move

Building a RAFT

Wheels’ up is six weeks from today. While we’re flying out of The Bahamas, I’m more focused on building a RAFT with the kids, in preparation for the move.

“Building a RAFT” is a tool developed by TCK pioneer and sociologist David Pollack. I first came across this idea about two decades ago in the book Raising Resilient MKs (<– free e- version!), and have been implementing this technique in the seven moves since! The “logs” of this raft are Reconciliation, Affirmation, Farewells, and Transition/Think Destination.

Sidenote: When I started writing this, I thought I’d give a brief overview of each of the of these aspects in one blog post. Haha! Of course, writing brings to the surface much of what I’ve been pondering and so today I’m going to just focus on Reconciliation.

 

Reconciliation:

In the Eighties, my family moved from the tropical, Mayberry-like base of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the busy (and cold!) suburbs of Chicago. In the midst of my junior high emotions and junior high struggles, I remember my mom admonishing me that there are no “location cures.” Ouch.

My mom knew me, and knew that in typical military kid fashion I had begun to view moves as a solution to problems. She shared her wisdom that when we move, we bring our struggles with us.

The R in RAFT stands for Reconciliation. I apply this in two ways — making sure I seek to make right any disrupted relationships, and looking inward to see what within myself is upset and and needs reconciling.

As I type this, I feel a tightening in my chest and a local friend comes to mind. This is someone I care about, and I wish I could deny the relationship was disrupted. But when I am honest with myself, I know that I have not been the friend to her I want to be, and that I’ve prematurely retreated from the relationship. We have no big conflict which needs to be addressed, but I do need to reconcile before we leave. I know that if I don’t attend to this now, it will be something that will continue to burden me when we move. And I do care about her! I don’t want to leave her with any unresolved stress either. Moving brings an opportunity to consider how, so far as it depends on me, be at peace with all. (Rom 12:18)

Similarly, I’ve talked with my teenagers — what can they do to leave on the best of terms with their friends? Are there any people to whom they need to apologize–or forgive? What problems do they expect to change when we move? My teens are pretty self-aware and know there are no “location cures” — but it’s easy to have that idea infiltrate our subconscious.

 

A Clean Slate

One of the perks of moving is being able to implement in a grand way what Gretchen Rubin calls the Clean Slate strategy. Yes, I do get a fresh start when we move. I can design a new routine, new habits, a new me! — the possibilities feel endless!

But as my Mom tried to counsel me in junior high, a clean slate is not a “location cure.” I bring my own self wherever I go. My internal struggles come along me.

Moving often brings to the surface unresolved internal conflicts. I see my own weaknesses writ large, under the logistical pressures of the move. Unexpected emotions surface.

My hopes for a fresh start when we arrived, feel unfulfilled by the reality of how my days have unfolded in this place.

I’ve found it is important to give time and space during the moving prep, to allow reflection. I take this as time of reflection to see what God has done in my life, as we’ve lived in this place. My struggles, my growth; the stresses, God’s faithfulness. When I actually do this and bring these internal conflicts to the Lord, He brings reconciliation to my soul.

 

A Reminder

My friend Karen Campbell used to start each of her podcasts with the reminder of the promise that is true not just for when we move, but for every day:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Amen.

Memory, Spring 2012


Being questioned by immigration after an insanely long pregovac flight, from Kenya to the U.S., traveling with a passel of kids…

“What do you do?” the agent asked.

I was so tired.

Looked at him blankly. Thought it must be a trick question.

Glanced at my huge belly and replied, “Make babies?”