Sunday, September 11, 2011

Grace Based Parenting, Chapter 1 review

As I sit to write this post, my thoughts are all over the place. I pray that this will be a time when God speaks to me and through me on a topic so close to my heart.


As my oldest daughter reminded me weeks ago, God didn't send Jesus to die for our best efforts, He sent Jesus to die for our sins and failures. So, I share as a mom who has a big share of failures, but a heart so full of love for her children. One of my sons, Nathaniel, told me last week not to wish for "do overs" because our mistakes play a part in making us who we are. So, I'm not even going to wish for a do-over with my children... I'm just going to share from my heart and move forward with my life as a testimony.

I remember holding my babies for the first time after their birth. Each one. I remember wondering how I could pass on to them hope and faith in God and how I could possibly answer some of life's biggest questions. I remember the awe of the responsibility of being their mom.

Twenty one years has gone by now since I first became a mom. I suspected something along the way and it has held true, but it has taken a while for me to fully grasp how very important it is. This truth is voiced clearly in the first chapter of the book Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel and it goes like this: "How we view God determines how we parent our children." (p. 16)

My oldest daughter read this book and felt the awe of the responsibility in raising her son and we have had some great conversations since she read it. She insisted that I read the book, too. And I am so thankful that she shared it with me. I am more aware of my faults and shortcomings than you could imagine. Yet in that I thank my Heavenly Father because that awareness keeps me turning to Him in prayer for help and for wisdom. I have decided to share some quotes from each chapter and blog about what I am learning under the heading "Seriously" here at my blog. I cannot say that I will write weekly, because I might go through a spurt where I write more often or I might hit a busy week that keeps me from sharing, but I offer to my friends and family my journaling on this journey.

Grace Based Parenting, by Dr. Tim Kimmel

Chapter 1 Why Well-Meaning Parenting Falls Short

This chapter takes us parents on an overview of parenting styles and presents us with a wonderful dose of hope at the end (and that's just the first chapter!). It covers information on fear-based parenting, behavior modification, image control, high-control, herd mentality, permissiveness, judgemental and legalistic parenting and then presents grace based parenting.

As I mentioned, I have felt for many years that a parent's view of God impacts how they parent. I love how the author took us through some of the pit falls and then gave us something new to apply. The call to parents to recognize their children's deepest basic needs not only opened my eyes, but gave me an answer I'd been seeking for some time. A lot of times we find out what doesn't work, but we still don't know what does work. At least in my case! I was able to take the closing paragraphs of this first chapter and apply them to life with my children immediately. My attitude changed. I felt so much more certain that I could offer my children exactly what they needed in life. That God could use me to make a difference in each one of their lives.

With respect to copyright, I will share just a few of the chapter's favorite quotes from this first chapter.

"... parents are deluded into thinking that families with children who learn to obey the most rules produce the best kids." p. 7

"The real test of a parenting model is how well equipped the children are to move into adulthood as vital members of the human race." "... are we effective at producing the kinds of kids who are anxious to be used of God to reform the world around them?" p. 9 and 10

"The primary word that defines how God deals with His children in grace." p.20

"Grace does not exclude obedience, respect, boundaries, or discipline, but it does determine the climate in which those important parts of parenting are carried out." p. 20

"Grace is the best advertisement for a personal relationship with the living God." p. 25

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for using Dr. Tim Kimmel to teach parents through this book. Thank you for being the best model of a parent. Thank you for love, grace and salvation. Help me to daily be the best mom that I could be for You. For your glory. Amen.

Blessings, my friends,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Delightful Dragonflies!

Quite a while back my brother posted a really great photo of a dragonfly. I have pushed myself, whenever presented with the opportunity, to compete with that photo! But... these little creatures haven't always been so willing to sit still for photo shoots.

Then the other day happened! I don't know if it was because it was the right temperature or the right part of the day or day of the year, but I kid you not, these dragonflies were hamming up their time in front of the camera! It was practically unbelievable. I would walk along the path that runs behind the marina and notice them flying about and I would just stop. And they would, too! They would find some blade of grass or stick or leaf to land on and stay! Then, I would get closer and they didn't mind. I'd get a bit closer and they would fly up a moment and land right back down where they were, ready for more photos. I kept firing away... hoping for the prize of that one really, truly great shot where the body and wings and the detail would be in sharp focus and all of blogger-dom would stop and stare in amazement at my lovely photo...

Well... I can probably find somethings not so perfect in each photo, but here are my favorites of the day:

This one looks like she is praying!

Boat 080

Boat 072

I wasn't even thinking "bokeh" when I took this one!

Boat 455

I love how the wings look tipped in gold!

Boat 218

Boat 230

When I saw the red dragonflies, I thought that if I could get the best shot of one, I could turn it into art in my kitchen... since I recently changed the colors in there to red and cream...

Doesn't this one look like a lady giving her cute guy the eye? lol

Boat 249

Boat 386

Looking at them now, I am thinking I should have adjusted my f-stop. I had gone out with it set low so that I could practice shallow depth of field and then got all distracted with these dragonflies and didn't bump it up... I wish I could clarify the focus a bit on some of these pictures!!

Boat 549

So, there you go. Dragonflies. And I'll end with a true confession. When I upload photos and edit, the rest of the room grows dim and I intently look at each photo and when one comes up that I like... I get all excited, bounce up and down and say, "Oh, Golly!" But, don't tell anyone that.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Got Bokeh?

One day I grabbed my craft bag with yarn, instructions and crochet hooks, my camera bag and Brian Peterson's Understanding Exposure book.

This is my 3rd time through the book and each time I get bogged down in some of the same places trying to get camera settings indelibly etched into my mind. I still don't know how to automatically adjust shutter speed for certain effects with water... But, I know bokeh! Oh, yes, I do! Bokeh is my favorite "thing" to play with. For non-photography folk, bokeh is the blur in the background you get when you have a large lens opening that causes the focus to stay close to the front of what you are taking the picture of. You get the result with a low f-stop number. I fell in love with bokeh last Christmas.

No further discussion... here are my favorite bokeh pictures!

Boat 352

Boat 345

Boat 341

Boat 322

Boat 311

Now for me to learn shutter speed with water... hmmm...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Favorite Five?

I've been enjoying getting to know some other bloggers out there and thought I'd join in a photo swap over at Sweet Little Gals

This weekend I enjoyed spending time with my teens at a poolside-bar-b-q We had so much fun! It was great to sit and relax and enjoy just hearing their laughs and fun. Well... as great as it can be until they get rough and you have to call out, "Hey, lets bring it down a notch, okay?"

And prior to heading over to the event, I enjoyed taking photos of my daughter!

So, here are my favorite five photos taken just recently!

And I just have to include my favorite photo of the week from my birthday:

Now I am off to have a lovely family day with my husband...


Sunday, September 4, 2011


That is the theme over at the LENS challenge. I always think of nature when I consider a photo of patterns... because that's more beautiful than McCalls or Simplicity patterns... (okay, a tiny attempt at a bit of humor).

So, I have these patterns to offer... and I am posting SOOC because I am really trying to focus on better focus skills, lighting, time of day, etc. when taking pictures...

I really like the last one best... I noticed more patterns in those cactus "leaves" after I took the photo!

This week I will be working with another pattern... Butterick #4947... and I am really looking forward to it! I will be sewing curtains, bedding and a blanket for my grandson's nursery!!


Friday, September 2, 2011

On Turning 42

In online communities that I visit, I often hear the same sentiments regarding the 40's. These are fabulous years! Many women feel that when they reach their 40's they have let go of caring about all the comments and opinions of others and feel secure in who they are. Others embrace this time when they have a lot of experiences to reflect on, gleaning and sharing wisdom. True it is that some women get to this point emotionally and have loads of wisdom prior to their 40's... But, I have loved reading sentiments of others who woke up and tossed aside those opinions, stood up and embraced life! I find myself in that category...

If I've shared it once, I've shared it... more than once... one of my great life lessons has been to live life in the moment. Too many days I spent distracted by troubles and conflict and saw difficulty all day and evening. Gone are those days. Troubles and conflict still brew. I have learned, however, come what may, I can find beauty and joy along my path... each day.

So, I sit with a little snack and think about turning 42... I am glad that it's not 22 or 32... and I am glad it's not 52! I am glad it's today. Today is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it! How many times have we sung those words and it was just a song? Too many times for me! But, what a statement. Today is what we have! It is a gift. We have a choice. Will we rejoice and be glad in this day? We've also heard in song the words "for a moment like this". Don't wait a lifetime. Find your moment, every day.

Looking back at what I just typed, I ask myself, "Are you kidding me? Haven't you been one who battled depression off and on over the years?" Nope, I am not kidding me! I believe that I struggled with depression in the past for the most part because I felt powerless in life. I felt defeated. And that is not who God created me to be. I can not and would not tell anyone struggling with depression that they simply have a choice to be happy... it is not as simple as that! My heart goes out to those who have to work through difficulties like that. Life can feel so dark. So lonely. You can wake up and feel like the best you have for the day is staring at a wall. Please, keep going. Find one thing to do. Then another. Get help when you need it. I do not minimize that struggle one bit. I pray that one day you will wake up and realize life's potential and be able to embrace it with a bit of joy once again.

Back to my birthday... it's a beautiful thing to have relationships with others... to receive greetings and share time. I didn't capture each event with my camera. Drats.

The day before my birthday, I was blessed with loving wishes and goodies from my daughter-in-law, Sonia and my grandchildren, Christopher and Chloe:

Chloe kept trying to escape!

On my birthday, Shasta and Jayden arrived with goodies, too!

My daughter has talents that I don't have... She loves cooking and baking and does it quite well. She passed me up when she was 12. These are the most wonderful cupcakes I have ever eaten. She made peanut butter cup cupcakes... Honestly, I could ignore all breakfast lunch and dinner suitable foods, and just grab one of these and add a cup of milk and call the day good!

As I said, I didn't capture enough of my day with my camera. I slipped out of town for a few hours in the morning and shared a cup of coffee with my college girl, Bek. We had a lovely visit!! I can write a few sentences about it, but it doesn't really come close to expressing how nice it was to hang out with her for a while. I wish I'd taken a few pictures.

The best part of the afternoon was this:

And, to repeat myself, I didn't get pictures of everything that happened and I wish I had... My mother and father-in-law stopped by for a visit and my dear one came in with flowers, a card, and fixed dinner for me. Ah, he knows how to go for the heart... He grilled delicious steaks, made asparagus, added in tossed salad with our back yard garden fresh tomatoes and scrumptious toasted garlic bread. No photos, though. I guess I was slackin' a bit on my birthday!

(Shasta took a picture of the flowers from Scott... I will take more because a couple of buds have opened up and are stunning!)

This evening I will pick up 5 of my favorite people to spend a couple of days with... I'm really looking forward to peering into their little eyes, inhaling deeply as I hug each one of them and taking in each moment.

Blessings! Go live on purpose!!!