Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Men I Follow

Being a wife and mother to a large, busy household does not afford me much time for reading. Many years ago I decided that everything I choose to read must benefit my life in some way. This also applies to blogs.

I would like to share with you three exceptional blogs I have found worthy to follow that happen to be written by men and explain why I follow them.

The Matt Walsh Blog

Matt is a 27 year old blogger, talk radio host, husband, and father of twins. He is very conservative and writes with a passion for sharing truth regarding current events. With his finger on the pulse of our country, Matt covers everything from parenting to the political arena, hitting on the most controversial topics that face Christians today. He is humble, yet bold, and doesn't compromise or back down. I like that.

Matthew L. Jacobson

I was first introduced to Matthew through his wife Lisa's blog (Club 31). Together they are a dynamic writing team! While Lisa's blog addresses women, Matthew writes to both husband and wife. He often explains things to wives about their husbands in simple terms and he has been instrumental in helping me to understand my own man at times. He writes openly and candidly about marriage, parenting, our culture and issues facing the Church. He even hits on "touchy" subjects such as sex, sin, and conflict in marriage, all from a biblical worldview and always handled with dignity and sprinkled with grace. Matthew is the author of the book
100 Ways to Love Your Wife: A Life-long Journey of Learning to Love Each Other and an eBook 10 Things You Won't Find in a Godly Marriage, which is free when you subscribe to his blog!

The Arsenal

A few years ago Haley became acquainted with a young man on a Christian writing forum, who impressed her not only with his writing ability, but by his noble character as well. She suggested I check out his blog.

Reagan is articulate, sincere, and bold in his beliefs. Reading his blog has helped me to not only be a better parent, but has also challenged and encouraged me in my walk with the Lord. He writes on such topics as modesty from a male perspective, why he believes hugging girls is wrong, and the downside of public education (he was public-schooled through high school and just finished his first year at Ohio State University). His posts are often viewed by many as controversial, even in the conservative, Christian community. His latest post is a prime example; it is titled, I Am a Sexist.

Reagan is the editor of Kingdom Pen, a free online magazine that encourages young writers to write well and to write for Christ.

I hope you are equally blessed by these three men as much as I have been!


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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Not All Smart Girls Go To College!

"Haley has what it takes to make it in music." The words stuck with me throughout Haley's senior year.

Mrs. Crump is a competent, experienced piano teacher who has had the honor through the years of watching many of her students perform at Carnegie Hall before heading off to college to pursue various degrees in music. I didn't doubt the validity of her words. Nor did we take them lightly.

But we had previously committed that we were not sending our daughters off to college. Some of our reasoning includes:
  • Rather than spending 4 years in diligent study of useless information that will not benefit their lives in any way, we view these young adult years as an opportunity for our daughters to pursue necessary life skills, such as cooking, home decorating, childcare, hospitality, and alternative health care.
  • Around the time our daughter would desire to settle down, marry, and begin a family, she would have just graduated college and be strapped with a load of debt. We feel it would be wrong to carry this heavy load into marriage, plus she would have to delay having babies in order to generate an income to repay the student loans.
  • After spending all that time and money on a college education, she would feel obligated to put her degree to use. Again, this would promote either delaying children or being a working mom, which is not in our vision for any of our daughters. 
  • We have no desire to spend 18 years of our daughter's life discipling her to be a follower of Christ, only to send her off to a morally corrupt institution that is known to deliberately undermine the Christian faith at best.

Considering the circumstances though, for the first time we really felt challenged in our conviction regarding higher education for one of our daughters.

Haley has always been very studious. She learned to read at the age of four and by the age of six, was reading at 4th and 5th grade level. She is the only one of the older girls who actually enjoyed (rather than endured) math. She enjoys writing fiction (especially adventure novels centering on WWII). Research and study seems to be her "thing". It would only stand to reason that she would want to further her academic education.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 23:4. 
"What if furthering her education is the way she is supposed to go?" I asked Terry that spring. "We don't want to hold her back from being and doing all that the Lord intends for her life."
We openly discussed the possibilities with Haley. At first, she was understandably excited about the prospect as we began checking into colleges, the cost of tuition, and all the logistics. As the reality of the magnitude of what we were considering began to set in, the excitement waned.

After exploring her options, examining and discussing the logistics, and praying about it, she came to us one day just before her graduation party in June 2013. "I've decided that the bottom line is, this just doesn't fit into my vision for my life. My ultimate goal is to be a wife and homeschooling mother." She decided that she would most likely enjoy teaching piano on the side, to help support her husband's income, but she did not want to pursue a career in music.

She explained all of this to her guests at the graduation party.

Days later, Mrs. Crump approached us with an idea. She proposed taking Haley through a college-level repertoire course that would greatly enhance her piano teaching skills. Besides being a fantastic piano teacher, Mrs. Crump is also a wonderful mentor, and so we were excited at the prospect! The class began soon after. (Though Haley has had to take a break due to recent health issues.)

Rather than seeking a career path via a college education, this "smart girl" has wisely chosen to remain a stay-at-home daughter, under the authority and guidance of her parents. She is pursuing higher education of music as well as writing (she recently attended a week-long writer's workshop in another state, traveling with big sis Emily and friends), without going into debt. Her choices have afforded her the opportunity to not only continue learning and honing necessary life skills, but she is also free to pursue her passion of writing. She teaches piano to several students.

We firmly believe that she is well on her way to being all that God has intended for her to be.

Today we celebrate 19 years with this beautiful, talented, and wise young lady.

Happy birthday Haley Rose!


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