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“Loving Our Kids on Purpose”

Earlier this year, we read a parenting book with our growth group that has significantly changed our lives.  Andrew and I were just talking about our parenting prior to this book yesterday, and how much more strife and stress and unnecessary hard work was in our life that had no direct or beneficial effect on their future selves.

Then we read Loving Our Kids on Purpose.  It has brought us more peace, more connection, more satisfaction knowing that what we do now will help them in their lives even when we aren’t there to monitor them.  I think since reading the book, life has become so much better that we don’t necessarily credit it to the book anymore, we just think we’re doing awesome :)

The book was written by a man with three biological children, but the introduction features a single mom of multiple children with RAD or FASD who thrive with these methods.  It is well written, it is funny, it is crazy how hard we make parenting sometimes.  There are many things that stand out about this book to me in a macro setting, but one small thing at the end has to do with sibling relationships.  I would have bet big money on the fact that it was my job to physically go in, break up a squabble, force the apology…. dust my hands off, and replay that scene in 10 minutes.

But since reading the book, if they come to me fighting or bugging each other, I have my one line, they look at each other, work it out with mutual, unprompted, self created compromise, and return to play, this time without interruption or purposeful interference while their play.

There are chapters featuring real people, some with teenagers who are acting out in every unhealthy way, and their parents loosing it.  After after just a few days, those children COMING to the parents class taught by the author to know, “What is happening to my mom,” because for the first time they are connecting, they are healing and growing….  #everything

It’s a short read, just 5 chapters.  It would be great to read individually, as a couple or a group.  There are questions at the end of each chapter if you are looking for a good book with great discussion.  Our group would run out of time each night because we all had so much to share in areas we and our children were growing.  Where our connections were thriving, protected and free from burden.

And in 5 chapters, we are all thriving in such practical ways, while having the closeness and relationship at the center of our family.  A gift to any family, giving us and our children what each of us desire.

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There are pages of endorsements at the beginning, but I liked this except from the third accolade:  “As a high school principal, I had the privilege of watching Danny Silk in action with both my staff and parents.  When Danny and I first met, I was at my wits end, having grown tired of giving advice to hurting parents who treated the symptoms of broken relationships yet ignored the disease that caused them.  Loving Our Kids on Purpose is a powerful tool that describes the why, but also gives honest, practical application as to how we should raise our children in a loving environment that will allow their destinies to come forth…”

So true.


Enjoy!  I hope you check this book out.  It may even be at your local library.  If you read, please get back to me and let me know your thoughts.

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Elijah’s tangible love

We wind around each bend along our curved roads.  With my car, I make way for two little mommies pushing umbrella strollers on this unsafe road, each stroller holding a little one.

“Mommy, why are they opening the trash cans?”

“Well it’s Monday trash day, they are probably collecting recyclables to earn money for their families.  You know how you do that, and what do you buy with it?”

“Just save it, or buy random stuff…”

“Right, because you have everything you need, so that money is extra, but for them, they’ll be buying food for their children and things they need.”


We pass by a homeless man down the road as we zip as quickly as possible to school.

The kids inquired, I explained to them about homelessness.

“MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Elijah cried out, “LET’S GET HIM!!!!!!!!”

“Get him?”

“Yes, we HAVE TA!!”

“Well…no,” I look at the man again, scruffy neck, dirty clothes, just Elijah’s thought about ‘getting him,’ made him seem more endearing to me.  Someone’s son.

“Um…how about, after we drop off the big kids at school, we can buy some granola bars for him and the other people we see who need it and keep it in the car to give out whenever we need?” hoping this is a better compromise for my little guy who wants to take everyone in, cries for people who cry and packs thoughtful gifts of his own toys for his friends while he gets ready for preschool.

The kids are in school, Poppy, Elijah and I stop by the store searching for granola bars, we find some–the cheapest ones, and go on with our day.  We don’t see anyone until a few days later.

“Look Elijah, there, we can ask him…”

But wait–now I feel nervous?  My dang compassionate kid…

“Hi, are you hungry, would you like a granola bar?”

Elijah leaned forward in his carseat, craning to see this man who would be eating because of him.

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The man quickly limped up to us, hopeful, thankful, and mumbled a cheery, “God bless you, ma’am,” as he took it into both hands.


“BLESS YOU!!!” Elijah called to him.

It was an exchange between Elijah and the man, don’t mind me.  It was incredible.

“Wow, good job buddy, I am really super proud of you for having that idea, that was seriously awesome, he is so happy.”  I go from feeling embarrassed that we had so little to give and wanting to hold back, to wishing we could do more, he was so kind and thankful.  I am constantly reminded how far kindness goes when I actually choose to participate in it.  “I love your heart Elijah, even when you drive me crazy, you have the very best heart…”

“Yeah……….”  he pauses for a second, his mind racing thinking about that sweet man….




“We are ‘getting’ NO ONE!!”

“But…he needs a HOME!!!!!”

“Let’s praaaaaaay for him, and for God to show us more people who need help, and show us real ways to help them?  Yay or nay?”

Okkkkk…..” serious, but a little bummed to not get his dream of a homeless man living with us.

We have close friends who have welcomed homeless people into their homes to live, have you ever done so or heard about it?  We have no physical room, but when I read verses like this, I am intrigued by what others may be doing:

What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
 sharing your food with the hungry,
 inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
 putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
 being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
    and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
    The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
    You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’

Isaiah 58: 7-9

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Share with me what you have seen done that fits along the lines of that verse if you can, I would love to hear!



About a year ago, the boys tried out for a karate class with a tall, stern man giving them instructions. Finley passed, “And he cannot join,” said the man, motioning to Elijah who had been too wiggly, his sensory system getting the best of him. Elijah hung his head and sat next to me each week for that month Finley participated in Karate. He would quietly watch Finley put on his starched, white pants and shirt, tie his thick belt across his stomach, “I want to do karate,” he’d whisper each time, watching the other kids by my side.

Tonight we tried again, a new place. It’s close to our home, and we drove in the dark on our way. Elijah told us he hoped he would do well. “Elijah,” Finley called out just before we started to encourage him, “I’m going to pray for you–Dear Jesus, help Elijah to do good in Karate, AMEN!!!”

This man was kinder and tied his belt for him, “Wanna know what I was for Halloween?” Elijah whispered.
“Yes,” he smiled.
For 30 minutes, the smallest boy did his best. He stood in line, he messed up during drills but the teacher encouraged him, and he didn’t give up. Twice he became overwhelmed and ran to me for a hug, but regained composure and was able to return.

After 30 minutes, he bowed to his teacher and was invited back.

“I knew you could do it,” Finley told him.
“Thanks, Finley.”

We bought pan dulce next door to celebrate a boy who won’t be sitting on the sides anymore.


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