Tag Archives: respect

she looked up at me, stunned

8 Jun


Sitting next to my eighth grade lab partner, we attempted to conquer the day’s assignment. The frog was placed before us.  Our job was to dissect the unlucky creature. How we had ended up as partners, I don’t remember. What I do know is that I was glad she got along with me. I had seen how she treated her enemies, and it wasn’t pretty.

During the course of our science experiment, we chatted together about our classes, people, likes and dislikes… I have no remembrance of what I may have said, but at one point she looked up at me stunned. “Becky, I have never heard you speak poorly of someone else before!”

At this point, I was stunned.

First of all, I was amazed that she would have even noticed or cared. After I processed her comment, I was ashamed that I had been guilty of the accusation!

This fellow student, who was known for treating others harshly, left a lasting impression in my mind.

The words we speak are powerful, possible of tearing down or building up. As a family, our goal is to always speak well of each other. Even when criticism is necessary, it should be given in love, never spoken of behind another’s back.

A family is a great place to begin the process of learning to treat each other with respect. What a delight to hear a wife carrying on about her wonderful husband or a brother speaking highly of his sister. It takes making a deliberate effort to change our habits – to relearn, but it is worth the effort as harsh words should never be allowed!

Since that day in the science lab, I wish I could say I have never made the same mistake again. Unfortunately I have, but I am thankful my “friend” took notice and confronted me. Because of her, I guard my words more closely.


My second podcast with Shara: Respecting Your Husband

26 May

Sitting here in the waiting room of the dentist office (with my new ipad in hand – of course), I have the luxury of reading, thinking, writing, and reflecting. Part of the process of deliberately encouraging others in marriage and family life is how it causes me to reflect on my own life.

How did I do this morning in sending off my hubby with kind words? Did I take time to encourage him? Did I focus on his strengths or pick apart his weaknesses? Did I take time to draw him close or drive a wedge between us?

A month ago I had the privilege of doing another podcast with my friend, Shara. The last interview was on the adventure of going from 5 – 14 children. This time, as you might guess, it was on marriage. The focus is on my journey of learning to treat my husband with respect and how that continues to affect the rest of our family. Shara has some great insights as she also endeavors to continue building on the strong foundation she and her husband have laid for a healthy marriage and family.

As a result of a few technical difficulties, like my Internet speed for one, the sound is a little soft. Be prepared to have a quiet place to listen.

Please take a moment to visit Notes at Naptime … with Shara and be encouraged!



one of the best gifts you can give your children…

17 May

It didn’t take much time of being married to figure out that my husband was very different than my dad. He looked, reasoned, and acted differently than my father had. What I didn’t realize was how much my father had shaped what I thought was the “right” model. No, my dad wasn’t perfect, but he was the example that had formed my thinking.

Being married has given me the chance to realize the uniqueness of each and every relationship. Our marriage is worth every ounce of effort to nurture, preserve and enjoy. My dad used to say, “Marriage isn’t about a 50/50% giving relationship, if a marriage is going to work, you need to be willing to be the one that gives 150%!”

One of the best gifts you can give your children is to learn to love and respect your spouse. Be tenacious! Never give up! Your marriage and children are worth the effort!

Lessons in Grace with Great Aunt (part 12)

13 Oct

Have you ever had the sense someone was watching you – even in your sleep?  I don’t think I will ever forget the night I woke with a start to a ninety some year old woman standing at the side of my bed at 3:30 a.m. peering down at me! Did I ever jump!!!

Why was she up in the middle of the night? What was she doing? Where else had she been?

 As time progressed with Great Aunt, one of her most common activities was packing her belongings.  For some reason, she continually thought she was moving. I would walk into her area of the house to find the pictures off the walls, blankets – folded and stacked, books, photo albums, jewelry… absolutely everything she could find piled or stashed away into drawers.  I would unpack each treasure, rehang the pictures, and reassure her that she was not moving. This was her home. This was her family.

Remarkably, by the time I came back to check on her, the process would be repeated! How did she do it? What stamina! She was able to pack all of her things several times a day!

Pack – unpack. Pack – unpack. Pack – unpack.

I may be a bit slow, but it didn’t take too long before I realized we needed to make some changes.  She needed less to pack, and I needed to unpack less!

We converted part of Great Aunt’s living area into a master bedroom accomplishing two things. One, she needed less space and fewer things deal with. Two, we were closer to her, providing better and much needed oversight.

The decision had been a very difficult one for me.  In no way did I want to limit her; or worse, move in to her very own abode.  Would she or the extended family think we were selfishly taking her space?

She adapted so well, we wondered why we hadn’t made the change sooner.  The large amount of space had clearly become too much for her.

In a large family such as ours, seldom was Great Aunt left alone. Although Sunday mornings and a few other occasions, she had the house to herself.  She had done well, until… we started coming home to tissue paper stuffed into the gas fire place (with the gas on), the stove top turned on high, water faucets left running.  She was rapidly loosing the ability to function safely without supervision. It was after the episode in the middle of the night,  it became clear that we needed to install a lock on her bedroom door, on the outside.

If I thought reducing her living space was difficult, the thought of locking Great Aunt’s door was worse!

We could no longer trust her judgement.  We did not want to put Great Aunt or the household at risk. We did not want to send her back to the “home-for-the-elderly”. Our desire was to lovingly care for her as long as we were able.

The lock was installed.  Because it was seldom used, it wasn’t an issue.  She had declined enough that it was not offensive to her.  In fact, when moving about her new more limited space, upon trying the door- she would just politely knock on the door, and close by, we would come to her attention. Once again, I was able to sleep without worrying about what the night might bring.

~lessons in grace~

loving when the loving is tough

pulling back when the desire is to give

restraining for ones own benefit

…all while honoring a life well lived

a win, win, win situation

11 Jul

Listening from the kitchen, I could hear the conversations taking place in the next room among the children. The older team was sending their younger brothers and sisters out to do some collecting.  They had gathered together discussing the differences between sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks.  After a few instructions, the hunt began.

This summer, my 8th and 9th grade  daughter and son have the responsibility of teaching a science course to their younger siblings.  The curriculum is called Considering God’s Creation.  Filled with creative projects and coloring pages, the children have fun learning about the universe, earth, plants, animals, and so on.

Not only does this help take pressure off me, but it also enhances the course experience for the children.  One of the best ways to nail down understanding of a subject is to teach it.  As the younger children are learning, the older two are getting an excellent review in preparation for their more difficult courses in the fall.

Although  this method does not come without obstacles, the intrinsic growth by interaction,  family relationship, and practicing communication skills far out weigh the object lesson. First of all, the younger siblings don’t naturally want to give the young and inexperienced “sister and brother teachers” their attention- but what a better way to learn!  By staying close, yet out of sight, I am able to help monitor and listen for behavioral issues that need tending, stepping in, only if needed.  In addition, the “teachers” have a great opportunity to work on developing their own skills (building character all the while).  It takes work and practice to be able to hold the young students attention and present information in such a way that they understand and retain.

With enthusiasm, the kids came running back with their chosen rocks and sorted them into various piles.  They examined each one, and I could hear the ” oohs” and “aahs” from their supportive siblings as they took note of the unique characteristics of the rocks they had compiled together.

You don’t have to wait until your kids are older to try this.   Nurture the ability to learn from each other!    Every age thrives on having responsibilities and being a much needed part of the team.

Who’s ruling the roost when you aren’t there?

27 Apr

I walked into the house yesterday to find my two youngest children with their noses in separate corners. Attempting to conquer another area in the yard, I had been working with the others outside.  These two had come in a little ahead of me to play a game of cards, which apparently wasn’t as “fun” as they expected and they ended up with their noses in the corners of the dining room.

What happens when we (as parents) are not home? How are the children cared for? How do they communicate? How are they disciplined?

My favorite place to be is at home, yet sometimes I need to be away. Whether it is simply a few hours or an extended period of time, the children’s caretakers should be informed of what we expect.  What is acceptable  behavior and what is not? How should the unacceptable be addressed? What form of discipline do we trust the caregiver to use? Although this may look different in each home, it is worth taking the time to be prepared.

Through the years, our older children have become aware of the house standards.  Authority has been given to them in our absence, and likewise they have earned our trust and respect in handling it.  Not everyone has the luxury of built in sitters in the home. In fact, it took us many years to get to that point! Whoever it is that steps in to that role for your family, be sure to give them some tools to work with.  Don’t let those sweet little ones rule the roost!

Loving older sis took the time to confront the kiddos, discipline, and follow through with some constructive instruction. Much to my appreciation, she even thought to have them fold their hands behind their backs, keeping the muddy fingers off of our freshly painted walls!

Scared to say “No” to your kids?

5 Mar

A couple days ago I took a little girl, not my own, to get a smoothie. It was suppose to be a special treat for the two of us, but I saw within the first 30 seconds of getting in to the little Cafe that this wasn’t going to be as fun as I had expected. I walked up to the counter and asked for a peanut butter smoothie(knowing in advance what was her favorite). As I ordered her drink, I let go of her hand for a half a second and next thing I knew, she was behind the counter taking a bag of chips off the shelf. When I saw what she was up to I looked at her and quietly, but sternly, asked her to put them back. She looked at me dumbfounded and said, “but I want chips!” To say the least she was shocked that I had just told her, “no, we are not having chips right now”. We proceeded to go sit down on the tall window seats, while waiting for our drinks. As we sat there she asked me, “Yetta, why can’t I have chips?”. My response was not what she wanted. She began to pout. And cry.

It was at this point that my knowledge that she was used to getting whatever/whenever she wants, became more evident.  Why does she cry and pout whenever I say no to her? Could she actually be used to getting everything she wants?

Within a few minutes she was in tears and throwing a tantrum for not being able to have her chips. (we left the cafe, me thinking silently and wanting to tell everyone in sight, “this is not my child!”)

Anyway… maybe some parents are capable of giving their children everything and anything they might want, but the question is, “is this healthy?” Maybe there is nothing wrong with what the child wants, but could it be that it is actually healthy for them to hear “no, you can’t have that right now” and for them to respond with the Black and White Obedience with a Respectful Response?

Further Up, Further In

going a little deeper in the the “why and who says” (by Becky)

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