Wednesday, January 27, 2010

First Days with Sophie

Enjoying all these fleeting, precious moments!









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Friday, January 22, 2010

Sophia Joy Koons

We're pleased to welcome "New Baby" (as she's been affectionately known for the last 8 months) into this world, born on 1/21/2010 at 12:11 p.m., weighing in at 8 lbs. 10 oz., and standing (ok...laying) 20.5 in. tall. And after 33 hours (and one coin toss), she finally has a name...Sophia Joy Koons. She's beautiful (of course) and has a nice set of lungs, which I'm sure she'll need to get a word in edgewise in this loquacious family of females. As you can see from the pictures, the older girls adore her...especially Clara, who proudly announced tonight (perhaps with some relief) that "I'm not the littlest anymore!" She's already stolen her daddy's heart. Without further ado, the pictures:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Good things come to those who wait ...

Waiting is not always a bad thing. Waiting has resulted in me getting two more meals into my freezer ... AND ... a really fun surprise baby shower. I thought it was just going to be a night of chocolate fondue with the girls and everyone brought presents. I felt very loved.

Maybe I'll be able to squeeze in a few more chores and things on my social calendar before this baby comes! Let's see if we can make it to book club/knit night tonight ...

Having said that, I swear this baby has gained a pound in the last two days. Heights of discomfort are being reached. Sigh.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Waiting Game

So, I went to my ob/gyn on Friday morning and found out I’m at 5 c.m. At that point I still had not felt a single contraction. At this point, nearly 72 hours later, I still haven’t really had any significant contractions.

This is a new revelation for me. I never knew a woman (e.g., me) could hover at 5 c.m. without being in labor.

So, the waiting game continues. I’m tired of thinking about it. My due date is still 12 days away. I almost wish I hadn’t been checked on Friday so I could just live my life and let come what may.

Kevin and others are still worried about me delivering on the kitchen floor at home. At this point, I don’t care.

Today’s goal: Preschool, Tackle Laundry, and Menu Plan.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2009 Books

It looks like, thanks to my iPod, I read 36 books in 2009. Considering that I had my worst pregnancy ever and two very small kids to take care of, and a very busy husband, I think that amount is not too shabby. (Let me count … 12 of these books were listened to via iPod while I did housework. How I love that thing.)

Feminine Appeal (C. Mahaney)—This book on the seven virtues of a Godly wife and mother listed in Titus 2 was a great way to start the year. I bought it for my home library immediately after I read it. I thought it was practical and very encouraging. I’d like to read all of Mahaney’s books.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (Haddon)—This is a novel written from the perspective of a teenage boy with autism who lives in a dysfunctional home. It kept my interest because it was really different from other things I had read and I thought it was well-written and convincing.

Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life (Wyatt)—This was an easy read and the author had good reminders about prioritizing and keeping the Sabbath and how this ultimately benefits every other area of our life.

The Secret Garden (Burnett)—I enjoyed The Secret Garden, and the truths conveyed by this piece of fiction, but it wasn’t my favorite. I think audio books are a great way to do the classics, especially if you’re already familiar with the story. Classics can be a little too descriptive and dry at times and I think having a narrator read it out loud really helps me stay involved in the story during those dry periods. I always try to get the unabridged (undramatized) versions so I don’t lose any of the beauty of the written words.

The Kitchen Boy (Alexander)—This is a novel of the Last Tsar, recommended to me by Megan. It was absolutely gripping. I love reading a book that is impossible to put down. The book also had a surprising plot twist at the end. Having said that, this book also has one of the most graphic depictions of violence against children I have ever read. If you can stomach reading about the murders of innocent children, this book is truly worth reading.

David Copperfield (Dickens)—This book really moved me and I found many of the characters to be very engaging. I’m not a huge Dickens fan but I did enjoy reading this book.

Raising Money Smart Kids (Bodnar)—I had been contemplating if we should begin giving Meredith an allowance. While financial savvy is not the most important virtue, I do really want my kids to understand saving and investing and to grasp the importance of being smart with their money. This book was very excellent. I will definitely be reading it again as my children approach their teenage years. And, I did get an answer to my allowance question—age six is a good age to start. First grade is also when kids typically learn about money in school.

Kids and Money (Pearl)—This one had some pearls of wisdom (no pun intended) too, but I thought that Raising Money Smart Kids was much more reader-friendly and better organized.

Wuthering Heights (Bronte)—I really wanted to love this book. So many wonderful people I know really love this book. But I hated this book. I hated all the characters, except for a few. Maybe that’s the power of the book—the author invoked in me such a passionate dislike of everyone involved. I didn’t even really have sympathy for the “victims” in this book. In the end, they all got what they deserved.

Almost French (Turnbull)—This was one of my absolute favorite books this year, or probably of any book I’ve ever read. It’s a memoir of a young Australian woman who met a Frenchman while traveling elsewhere in Europe and decides to take him up on his invitation to move to France and pursue a relationship with him. The whole book is about her trying to assimilate into the very peculiar French culture, and all her adventures along the way. The book was like pure candy. I enjoyed every page and was very sad when the book had to end.

The Practice of the Presence of God (Lawrence)—This book was excellent and very spiritually encouraging and convicting. I was blessed to read the words of this very humble and godly man who wanted nothing more than to experience the presence of God in his everyday life. This book was a good reminder that I can and should pursue constant communion with God during my everyday experiences.

Eat, Pray, Love (Gilbert)—This book was easy to read and the author is engaging and funny. I admire people who are willing to take risks to pursue what they ultimately want. However, I couldn’t help but feel sad for this woman who was so lost and never seemed to get good answers because (in my opinion) she was looking in the wrong places. I’m glad she was happy in the end of the book, but I was still unhappy for her, wanting her to have more. I don’t particularly recommend this book.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Fitzgerald)—Kevin and I saw the movie so I thought I’d read the book. The book was amusing but had a very different plot from the movie. The only thing the two had in common was the fact that Button was born old and ended life a baby.

Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me (Begoun)—This book had been updated since I read it last. This book makes me feel empowered. There’s a lot of good information on wisely buying the facial products and cosmetics that work well for you and don’t cost a fortune.

Worldliness (C.J. Mahaney)—Kevin read this book for a men’s group meeting and I thought it looked interesting. It was good food for thought about evaluating our media, music, stuff, clothes, etc.

Shopping for Time: How to Do it All and Not Be Overwhelmed (C. Mahaney)—This was another of my top-favorite books. At the time I read it, it was just what I needed to hear to encourage me to be more disciplined with planning my day. There are no easy solutions to finding more time to do what you need to do. But I thought Mahaney had a lot of practical wisdom to dish out and this girl needed to hear it.

Don’t Waste Your Life (Piper)—I don’t know why but I just couldn’t get into this book. It felt like a very long sermon and nothing was particularly insightful. I’ll have to give another of Piper’s books a try sometime and hopefully I’ll be more impressed. I know a lot of people really love his books.

Julie and Julia (Powell)—This is a cooking memoir and, if you can get past the fact that she speaks like a sailor, it was interesting and funny. I love cooking and trying new recipes, so I especially enjoyed it. I also really enjoyed the movie. I love it when it works out for me to read a book first and then see the movie.

He’s Just Not that Into You (Behrendt)—I remember talking with a single friend about this book when it first came out, many years ago. I saw that they were making it into a movie, so I decided to finally read it. While the author definitely has a worldly perspective on dating and premarital sex, I think the message is something that is so obvious and yet so many women need to hear it.

Outliers: The Story of Success (Gladwell)—This is my favorite Gladwell book so far and a top-pick of the books I read this year. Gladwell uses example after example to show how successful people all have some sort of lucky break along the way. They are very determined people who have worked hard and there is some other factor that makes them successful. It goes against the American image of a completely self-made person. This book is fascinating. For instance, nearly all professional hockey players in Canada are born between January and March. If you live in Canada and want to play hockey, but you are born in November or December, you might as well not even try. No professional hockey player in Canada was born in these months. Gladwell explains why this is.

The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway)—It took me a while to get into this book. (But it was an audio book so I persevered!) I kept thinking, “Who cares to read about an old man sitting alone on a boat in the middle of the sea?” But I’m glad I kept reading/listening because I became more involved in the story later on in the book. It was interesting to read later (in another book) about how Hemingway wrote the Old Man as a type of Christ.

Copper Beech (Binchy)—
This was a fun read about a group of school children and how their lives interwove as they grew. Binchy is always so good at making her characters interesting and realistic. I enjoy her novels.

How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Foster)—This was another of my top favorite books of the year. I cannot believe I ever led a Book Club discussion without reading this book. Foster helps to crack the codes in literature. For instance, rarely does an author write a scene that has bad weather, or people eating together, or birds in flight, etc., etc., without there being meaning and significance behind those things. Foster discusses numerous works of fiction and helps to open them and explain them to the reader so that we can be more discerning when we read other works of fiction. Very interesting book!

Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury)—This book was interesting enough but it wasn’t one of my favorites. I liked Orwell’s 1984 much better, when I read it years ago. The author got his point across really well and you really hate how apathetic and pitiful the people are who have no art or literature to enhance their lives and make it more meaningful.

Lenten Lands (Gresham)—This is a memoir written by the stepson of C.S. Lewis. What a great book! I really enjoyed every chapter and appreciated the author’s transparency and hearing his perspective.

Casino Royale (Fleming)—This is the first James Bond novel I’ve read. Kevin read it also and we both enjoyed the word pictures in it. I need to watch the movie again because I can’t remember the plot differences. But it was a fun read.

Beyond Bedtime Stories: Promoting Literacy in Children (Bennett-Armistead)—I was glad I picked up this book. There were practical tips and some good reminders that I need to keep doing what I’m already doing. This book was organized well and easy to get through.

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God (Chancey & McDonald)—I have to admit that I was very skeptical when I picked up this book. I wouldn’t have read it except that my mom left it after she came to visit. The authors are part of the patriocentric movement, which I find to be off kilter and alarming. So, I read this book with a very critical eye. Much to my surprise, I was glad to have read this book. I appreciated the authors being very careful to seek out what scripture really teaches about homemaking, even though it’s not a very popular viewpoint, even among Christians. I was encouraged to be careful to take scripture for what it is without looking at it through a humanistic or cultural lens. I think it’s really difficult to remove all filters, because there are so many. The two big ones for me are a) the messages culture sends that are so ingrained, it is part of my worldview without me even realizing it, and b) thinking that everything has to make sense in my own mind for it to be true. Either the bible is true or it’s not. I believe it is true. Therefore I need to read scripture and take it as God’s word without trying to qualify it or twist it into what I want it to say. This book made me think.

Dating Jesus (Campbell)—I read this book at the same time I read the Passionate Housewives book and I couldn’t help but see an extreme contrast. Dating Jesus is a memoir of a woman who grew up in a fundamentalist church and ultimately rejected the faith of her youth and embraced feminist teachings. Passionate Housewives delivered the message that it’s important to start with scripture first and use that as our filter. Dating Jesus is the story of a woman who struggled with scripture not making sense to her and she therefore rejected it. Dating Jesus ultimately shows the problem with bad theology. If Campbell had been raised in a church where leadership supported and encouraged her inquisitive mind and helped to give her answers, she would have likely written an entirely different book. Unfortunately she grew up in a church with bad theology and a twisted view of scripture, where she was taught to just accept what she was told without thinking independently. And she rebelled. I would have most likely rebelled under these circumstances, too. A sad story.

Sarah’s Key (deRosnay)—This is a novel translated from French about the holocaust and evacuation of Jews from Paris. The plot is about a girl who locks her brother in a closet and takes the key, promising him she’ll be back for him after the roundup. This book was truly a page-turner. Each chapter alternated between the story of Sarah and the modern-day story of an investigative reporter. Just as soon as Sarah’s plot became less gripping, the reporter’s story picked up and you just can’t wait to find out what happens to her. This book was difficult to read because many of the tragic things that happened in it are true. But it’s very important to read and remember. And the story is incredibly well written. I really enjoyed it. I only wish more of deRosnay’s novels can be translated into English for me to read.

Calm My Anxious Heart (Dillow)—This is a book about finding contentment. I really appreciated the reminders in this book and the author’s heart in writing it. Each chapter had something good to say. She reminded me that there are always two ways to view our situation. We need to focus on the good and rejoice in the portion God has given us. Why is it that we Americans have so much but we are so unhappy? This book was encouraging and convicting.

Strong Poison (Sayers)—It was fun to read a good murder mystery again. It’s not my favorite genre but it was a really nice change of pace.

Service Included (Damrosch)—This is a memoir about a woman who waited tables at one of New York City’s top, four-star restaurants. It was interesting to get a behind-the-scenes view of what it is like to work in that capacity. It was fun to read about the food and food preparation, the celebrities who came to dine, the stresses of trying to woo a food critic, and the joys and agonies of the job.

Washington Square (James)—I read this for a book club and enjoyed it. The plot is about a plain, gullible, wealthy young woman who falls for a suave, beguiling and penniless young man. Her father the whole time warns his daughter that the man is only seeking her wealth. It’s about the young woman’s decision and the father/daughter and man/woman relationships involved.

Grace Based Parenting (Kimmel)—This book was excellent. It gives the larger picture of parenting and encourages parents to trust God and allow their children freedom to fail and freedom to be different. I will probably read this book again in a few years … and maybe even again a few years after that.

Husband Coached Childbirth (Bradley)— I have had short labors and thought I would read this book in case I choose to forgo the epidural this time around. The second edition of this book, written in 1974, was loaned to me. Much of it was outdated (e.g., he makes wild, completely outlandish assertions about the cause and effect of drugs taken by pregnant women) and there were a lot of stereotypes which I found to be pretty humorous. I would hope the updated version of this book is better in this regard. I was also disappointed at how the book was organized and didn’t find it particularly helpful or inspiring. The natural childbirth arguments have never deeply resonated with me. Having said that, I can see how if I were giving birth in 1960 instead of 2010, I might have an entirely different opinion. The descriptions of women being doped up to a state of near unconsciousness, and delivering babies who are born also doped up and gray colored, would drive anyone to consider alternatives. Thankfully, the options we have today are very different than the ones our mothers and grandmothers had.

Top Picks:
Feminine Appeal (Mahaney)
Raising Money Smart Kids (Bodnar)
Almost French (Turnbull)
The Practice of the Presence of God (Lawrence)
Shopping for Time: How to Do it All and Not Be Overwhelmed (C. Mahaney)
Outliers: The Story of Success (Gladwell)
How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Foster)
Lenten Lands (Gresham)
Sarah’s Key (deRosnay)
Calm My Anxious Heart (Dillow)
Grace Based Parenting (Kimmel)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Here are some random snippets about the kids. I was trying to update their journals tonight and here are a few of the things I wrote.

I love both my children to the fullest capacity possible. Both of them are sinners. Both of them have their extremely endearing moments. AND ... It just so happens that one of them is a little bit more challenging to parent at this present time. Can you tell which?

Portrait of Clara

You love to lick things. Your dad is always trying to teach you, “Clara, what are you supposed to lick?” You reply, “Food and drink.” The other day I was at the pediatrician’s office with you and your sister. I was engrossed in filling out a form. Suddenly I hear Meredith yell, “No Clara, don’t lick the toy table.” I look up to see several other parents with mortified expressions on their faces, and you taking your full tongue and sliding it up and down the top surface of the toy table. Could there be anything more germ infested than that? We went to the doctor because you had a common cold and chest congestion. I hated to see what you would come away with after our visit.

Clara, you are SO independent. The other day you went number-two in the toilet and decided that, rather than tell me so I could wipe you, you would just do the job yourself. A while later you must have noticed in your panties that you didn’t exactly do a stellar job. So you went upstairs to your bathroom, removed all your clothing including your socks, and proceeded to rinse everything out in the sink. All by yourself. When I found you, in the drenched bathroom, I quickly deduced what had happened. I said, “Let’s go get you some clean underwear.” I led my naked Clara to her underwear drawer. When I opened the drawer, all your underwear, socks, and jammies had been completely cleared out. The drawer was empty. You had decided—on your own—that you didn’t want your stuff in that drawer in anymore. You moved everything to one of Meredith’s empty drawers. What am I going to do with you, sweetheart? I can barely keep up!

Portrait of Meredith

You had been begging for an American Girl doll but your dad and I decided that this is not the year for it and you need to wait a few more years until you are older. They are expensive and we want to make sure you fully appreciate the doll and will take proper care of it. Your aunt Christy, however, found a little miniature “Felicity” doll and you LOVE it. You have been carrying it around nonstop since you received it in the mail two weeks ago. It is your current favorite toy.

We have been learning a new character trait each week in our homeschool. This week we learned about “generosity.” I could tell you were listening very carefully when we talked about it. Five minutes later I saw that you let Clara hold and play with your miniature Felicity American Girl doll. Until that point, you had carefully guarded this doll and not let her touch it. I told you that when something is unimportant to us, it’s easy to share it. It’s a lot harder to share the things that are really valuable to us. But that’s exactly what you did. I was SO proud of you.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


I got up early today, which is rare for me lately. I’ve needed all the sleep I can get at this point in pregnancy. Kevin left the house at 6:00 a.m. to go work for the morning. If he has to work on Saturday, he tries to leave early so he can spend as much time with the kids as possible after they wake up. He amazes me. The other day he went into work at 4:30 a.m. He’s been averaging 5-6 hours of sleep at night, plus yesterday he got up early to scrape a bunch of ice off of our long driveway. I can only imagine how exhausting that job is. The man is like the energizer battery. He keeps going.

So here I am. Awake. With more than 10 minutes to myself. The house is quiet. This is a very rare moment in my life right now.

Lately, I’ve been getting all sorts of feedback from people who have recently had a third child. It seems like it’s about 60/40. 60 percent feel it was much more difficult adding a third child than a second and their world spun out of control for many months. 40 percent think the second was a bigger adjustment and adding a third was not as big of a deal. The most encouraging thing I’ve heard is from my obstetrician, “Three is great! The older two play with each other and you have lots of time to enjoy the baby.” My kids do play really well together. But they also fight really well together, too. So … the verdict is still out.

When we added a second child to our family, I thought it was much easier taking care of a newborn and a toddler than being pregnant with a toddler. I love having children but I hate being pregnant with every fiber in my being. I feel very debilitated and unhealthy when I’m pregnant. At this point, I’m hopeful of anything coming my way after pregnancy because it means that, whatever it is, I won’t have to be carrying all this weight around, I’ll be able to breathe again, I won’t have to use 17 pillows to be able to fall asleep, and I won’t be a human punching bag anymore.

It’s easy for me to feel like a total loser because many days/weeks/months in this motherhood adventure, I feel like I accomplish absolutely nothing except the basics of survival. My family is fed and clothed and I do basics of preschool with my kids and that’s about it. I read for 10 minutes in bed before I fall asleep exhausted. It’s easy to get depressed when I feel like I have no time to pursue anything “extra” for my family or myself.

The thing that keeps me going is that I know my kids are my biggest and most worthwhile investments at this point. I look at them and I see that they are healthy and really happy. I feel close to my children and I know that they love me. I know a lot of people would love to have that and don’t. I’m a very lucky woman.

Maybe in a few years (sometimes it feels like maybe ten years) I’ll have time to pursue things like salsa dancing and stamp collecting (just kidding about stamp collecting—that sounds soooo boring, no offense). But right now it’s all about the basics of life. And I’m trying to be content.

For the record ...

I thought I would cut and paste our year-end newsletter, just for the record.

Dear friends,

We hope you are doing well this holiday season. Even though we keep up with so many of you through blogging and Facebook, we still can’t shake this annual newsletter habit. It’s just too fun of a tradition to exchange letters during the most wonderful time of the year!

Baby girl number three is due to arrive on January 30, 2010. We still don’t have a name for her, although we do have a new favorite name every week. This was the first pregnancy where we had a 4D ultrasound and it was simply amazing.

Although we are all looking forward to the new baby’s arrival, Clara (age 2 ½) is the most excited. She will press her lips to mommy’s tummy and yell, “Hey baby! When you going come out?” You will most often find her tending to a baby doll or pushing a doll stroller around the house. She also loves to “read” books to herself, turning pages and exclaiming, “Oh! That’s such a good story!” She loves to belt out “Jesus Loves the Little Children” at the top of her lungs, to anyone who will listen. She loves to laugh and share a joke and wears her emotions on her sleeve. We predict that she will be our world-traveling child because she always tells us “I go there someday” and “I do that someday.” She wants to see and experience everything. Clara is also the most extraverted child at the library classes we attend. She always wants to sit up front, ask questions in the middle of the story, and “help” the teacher with puppets and bubbles.

Meredith (age 4 ½) has turned into a young lady before our eyes. This year she learned how to read. She also constantly writes notes and leaves them all over the house. She spells everything phonetically. Her sister is “CLERU.” She wrote her mom a note one day, “IM SORE FOR BN BAD MOME.” (“I’m sorry for being bad, mommy.”) Meredith has completed her second semester of ballet lessons and was very excited to go to The Nutcracker Ballet this year. Meredith loves to catch bugs and let them crawl up and down her arm; she has asked for a bug vacuum for Christmas. She plays pretend for hours and hours. It’s sweet to see her and Clara play together and enjoy each other so much (well, okay, as long as Clara agrees to play by Meredith’s rules). Meredith is reflective, academic, sweet, and generous. She loves to spontaneously give things away to people, whether it is a toy, a note, a wad of quarters, or a flower she’s picked from the yard.

Amy is currently 7.5 months pregnant and feeling especially tired these days. She is still wondering how she will accomplish anything with adding a newborn to the chaos? Probably the most rewarding thing she did this year was help Meredith unlock the mystery of reading. She decided to buckle down and begin more formal preschool instruction with Meredith this fall, and Clara joins in when she can. It seems like she is just figuring out one phase of parenting when a new one presents itself. This year she is a table leader at MOPS, even though the gals at her table are more encouragement to her than she could ever be to them. She tries to forget about the ever growing to-do list as much as possible and enjoy her small children. Easier said than done!

Kevin is also known as Big Chief Ugamug around our house. He holds pow-wows with his little Indian princesses when he comes home from work and they adore him. This was Kevin’s first full year to work at his firm, Kroger, Gardis, and Regas, since being admitted to practice law in Indiana. This year has been a very busy one career-wise. He has done a remarkable job juggling all of his responsibility at work and helping to hold down the Koons Fort as well. This year Kevin masterminded and executed numerous projects around our house. We can’t believe it’s been a year since we moved in! He is still waging war against the crab grass in our backyard. But we predict he will win sometime in Summer 2010. He is very determined.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Koons Family

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Bunk Beds

This was the only house project we were able to finish on Kevin's week off. How can a week go by so quickly? It's not fair!

Kevin re-painted the bunk beds he used as a child, and we both painted the room. We are all four happy with the result. And so far the girls are doing fairly well adjusting to sleeping in the same room.

Bunk beds, lovingly painted:

I love how the art has a pink-striped border, which matches the curtain:
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Livingroom Campout

We tried camping out in our living room while Kevin was off. BIG HIT WITH THE KIDS. Mom (being huge pregnant) slept on the couch. Dad had a few kinks in the morning. But it was worth it for the joy it brought to two children. We made kettle corn and sat by the "camp fire" (i.e., our cozy fireplace). This is truly the way to do camping. :)



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Mer's First Ice Skating

Kevin took Meredith ice skating for the first time when he was off after Christmas. She did really well and even tried it on her own towards the end. Clara took a turn in daddy's arms a few times. It was special because Kevin's family has enjoyed ice skating for a long time. Kevin really enjoyed introducing Meredith to this sport.




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Grace Based Parenting

I’m pretty sure one of my blogging friends recommended this book but I can’t remember who. To whomever it was, thank you. I’m really glad I read this book!

The book is basically written in response to a heavy rules-based parenting style, where a fear of worldly influences over one's children is paramount. The author encourages parents to raise their children in light of the gospel and to consider as a role model the way that God parents us. Children need to be allowed to fail. Children need to know they are loved unconditionally. This does not leave room for tolerance of explicit sin. Children also need to experience consequences for sin. But children need to know they are loved no matter what.

The first part of the book discusses the basic needs of children—the need for security, significance, and strength. The second part of the book encourages parents to provide homes where their children are given the freedom to be different, to be vulnerable, to be candid (even about a parent's own flaws), and the freedom to make mistakes.

Here’s a quote from the book:

“Your children’s propensity toward sin shouldn’t surprise you; it shouldn’t threaten you; and it shouldn’t even really bother you. You know you’ve given birth to sinners, children just like the parents who sired them. You realize that your children have a bent toward selfishness, stubbornness, and lawlessness—exactly the kind of people Christ loves and for whom He died. By acknowledging your children’s bent toward sin from the outset, you can encourage your children to struggle with their sin out in the open where you can talk about it and direct them to the power of Christ. And when the children are actually sinning, grace makes it easy for you to have open, candid, and vulnerable discussions about these areas where they struggle. Your children will be able to talk to you about internal battles with jealously, lust, greed, or anger.”

Legalistic parenting is much easier than trying to discern the true intent and heart of your child, allowing your child to be different and make mistakes, and learning to trust God along the way.

To purchase this book, you can go to the Family Matters website, here.