Saturday, April 30, 2011


Raising boys is one of the greatest experiences one can have in life. Boys are full of energy, mischief, curiosity and LOVE! Who can resist a sweet, innocent boy, who may happen to be covered in mud at any given time?
They are also very responsible and love to learn to do lifeskills...that is, when they're not doing dog piles!
We raised three of our own. They are each 9 years apart but when they get together they become one age and enjoy each other and doing things together. Like wrestling, fishing, camping, and cooking. What fun to have cooking throw downs with these boys! Family gatherings make for great memories and awesome food.

We had so much fun and love with the first 3 so we couldn't resist and adopted 3 more boys!  These three are each one year apart. WOW! It is like having triplets, but oh so fun...and never a dull moment!  We also have four wonderful girls and I don't mean to leave them out but this post is about boys so there will be another time to show off the girls.

That leaves us with 4 boys at home and the boy fun is full and alive in our house.  Whether its playing outside, crawling on dad's tractor...or lap...
or hanging from trees, working in the garden, conquering universes with their Star Wars light sabers,
swinging from tires,
or enjoying ice cream
never mind the chocolate on the white shirts!

cause its time for another dog pile!
there's enough love to go around as these little guys figure out life on the farm
and life in a new family with older brothers...

In the end, here we are!  All 13 of us...and counting, our oldest son and his wife are pregnant
...with a BOY!  (we think!)
There is no question about it, boys are a special breed.  Their natural combination of curiosity, endless energy,  and downright cuteness are irresistible and have brought much joy and life to our home through the years.  We strongly recommend giving thanks for and hugs to the boys in your life today!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Managing your own need.

Today brought an interesting devotion from the book of Proverbs.  In the 25th Chapter, Solomon, the man credited with being the wisest man to ever live said these words:
It is not good to eat much honey;
So to seek one’s own glory is not glory [at all].
Whoever has no rule over his own spirit
Is like a city broken down, without walls.
One of the devasting effects of parental neglect is the development of narcissism.  Psychoanalysist, Heinz Kohut, once spoke much about the development of narcissism.  He concluded that everybody has a narcissistic need and that in normal development these needs are met through empathic parenting.  Primarily through empathy, children develop the skill of self soothing, feeling safe, receive nurturing and develop a sense of well-being in this world.  Without such parenting, narcissism basically goes unchecked, rules the day, and establishes an abyss of emotional need that demands satisfaction, i.e., its all about me, baby!   Those around such a person often avoid contact, run for the exit doors or tend to counter the self-centeredness with rejection and in worse cases, become abusive in efforts to "tame" the narcissistic demands.
Kohut's theory never made more sense to me than now.  We have seen first hand the emotional injuries of neglect and the resultant narcissism.  It is one of the more difficult aspects of parenting children who have been neglected.  Watching a child try to meet legitimate needs through narcissistic indulgence is painstakingly difficult and managing your own reactions is tricky.  If you're not careful everyone loses.  The child makes no progress in learning to meet his/her needs and the parents have just either avoided or scolded the child for their demanding behavior...thus, to seek one’s own glory is not glory [at all].    Solomon said it centuries ago.  But he also tips us on how to meet those needs.  It requires that you gain control over your spirit.  We’re talking personal responsibility not only for making good choices, but for meeting one’s own needs in legitimate, healthy ways.  To not do so leaves you without defense or protection, just as a city without walls is subject to invasion.  When you are seeking your own glory, the possibility that you will be met with invaders is increased, resulting not in needs being met, but legitimate needs being plundered and even exploited.   This explains why people who are sensitive to rejection seem to invite that rejection from others.  Seeking your own glory opens up your soul like a broken down city without walls.  You get whatever wanders up and enters in.  Perhaps the sojourner is good for the city, perhaps he is not.  Maybe the need is met, maybe the soul and emotions were exploited and frustrated one more time.  However, the one who rules over his or her own spirit is not so.  They let in what they know will be good for the city!

But then the question comes, "exactly how to do teach a child to rule over his own spirit?"  Particularly a child that has experienced such disappointment and whose sense of well-being has been shaken to the core.  To that we say, "stay tuned, we'll get back to you on that one!"  We know it has to do with consistency, emphasizing personal responsibility from each child, the importance of the truth, unconditional love from parents and establishing meaningful relationships.  Perhaps it requires other things as well.  If you've got an idea, let us hear from you!  We'd welcome the input!  Until next time...