"…And she smiles at the future." ~Proverbs 31:25

Posts tagged ‘marriage’

What I learned at PTP (Part 1)

I’m sure I’m not the only one who went through PTP wishing everyone I know could have been there. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who came back wanting to share everything I learned with anyone willing to listen. Since neither of those is a realistic option, I thought I’d settle for sharing with you some of the highlights from the sessions I attended last week.

These are the things that made an impression on me, or that changed me, or that I hope will make me better.  Consider this the condensed version–the Cliff’s Notes–of our week at Polishing the Pulpit.

The Great Smoky Mountains at sunset…Breathtaking!

From “God Loves You More Than You Can Possibly Understand” by Eric Owens:

We love babies before we meet them…before they’re ever born…not once they can walk, not once they’re potty trained and have met all our expectations. We didn’t DO anything to get God’s love. There are no conditions on His love. The difference between a baby before birth and after is that once the baby is born, our love gets to be expressed. What has the baby done to deserve it? Absolutely nothing. Remember, God was love before man was ever created.

The kids had a blast at PTP camp! They learned about Bible Geography, played games, had a visit from a missionary, had Bible lessons, sang songs, looked at coins from Bible times, and made crafts.

From “Rules, Respect, and Roaring Laughter–Showing Children That Christianity is the Most Fun Life” by Sami Nicholas:

We need to help our children look down the stream of time before they ever step in the water.

“I want my children to know that the funniest, happiest times are so closely knit with our church family that they could never think about leaving it.”

My sweet husband and my sweet little brother…Words cannot express how much I love these two preacher boys!

From “Helping Our Husbands Succeed” by Donna Faughn:

Be his 2 C’s: His greatest cheerleader, and his kindest critic.

A psychologist said, “The point at which many marriages jump the track is in over-investing in children and under-investing in the marriage.”

I have the power to undermine his leadership in the home, causing him to fail. Why would I want to do that?

Remi loved her time in child care with the little ones. The ladies who cared for them all week were so sweet and such troopers!

From “Seven Minutes of Wisdom for Women” by Sheila Butt:

Studies show that kids who memorize Scripture are less likely to leave the church.

From “The Spiritual Discipline of Frugality” by Cliff Goodwin:

Frugality helps us show we love the Giver, not just the gifts.

We all have lots of obligations. We all have one chief obligation.

Our kiddos loved PTP. They learned so much!

From “Reclaiming the Family Meal” by Jana Lyons:

Studies show that kids who eat with their families regularly are LESS likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, use illegal drugs, suffer from depression, have eating disorders, and commit suicide. They are MORE likely to do well in school, abstain from premarital sex, have a good vocabulary, eat vegetables, and use good manners.

(Does that make anyone else want to run to the kitchen and start cooking?)

Addy learned how teachers make visual aids for their Bible classes.

From “Improving Your Personal Prayer Life” by Mike Vestal:

Grace=God’s riches at Christ’s expense

Get up early and find a quiet place. Not a morning person? It’s a discipline!


Remi was proud of the lion she made in class.

From “Is It Nothing to You? Keeping Our Hearts Soft and Our Passion for Souls Strong” by Michael Shepherd:

Circumstances can make us BITTER or BETTER.

(On missions:) If you can’t go in PERSON, go in your PURSE.

The Christ we cannot share is the Christ we cannot keep!

From “Time Management for Homeschool Moms” by Tonya Strong:

Your work in the church is your family. Your family is your work in the church.

Hard is good. It means you’re growing.

If I invite Him into my house in the morning, He’s going to be sitting beside me throughout the day as I teach.

(I LOVE that thought!)

If you were at PTP and something jumped out at you in any of your classes, please share it in the comments. I’ll share some more of mine tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by!

Check out these PTP-related posts:

What I learned at PTP (part 2)

What I learned at PTP (Part 3)

PTP highlights

What exactly is PTP?

Our Great Smoky Mountains Adventure

Traveling Smiles


What I learned at the blank-blank-blank

OK, I know that title is just a little weird. But, I don’t want to tell you where I spent last weekend just yet. I will say that it’s one of my favorite events of the year. I’ll tell you I went with my husband–just my husband, no kids! (Thanks, Mom!)–and that we were able to spend time with old friends while there.

I’ll even tell you what you’d have seen if you’d been there: A sea of strollers, gaggles of well-behaved children, lots of nursing mothers, and more books than you’ll ever see outside a public library. Have you guessed it yet?

Don’t stop reading! (Please?)

The reason I didn’t want to tell you up front that we were at the home school convention is that this post–like much of the convention itself–isn’t about home schooling, and I don’t want you to quit here just because you might not be a home schooler.

You see, one of the most interesting aspects of this conference to me was that, while it was INCREDIBLY helpful and fun, it had less to do with home schooling than with family. Even the title of the conference would indicate that, as seen here on my program cover:

It was all about family.

About marriage.

About parenting.

About relationships with others, and relationship with God.

If you’d been there, you could have attended workshops on how to be a better, more supportive wife, how to get your children to do chores, how mothers can make their homes places of spiritual influence, and how fathers can better encourage their wives. You could have received instruction on how to prepare your children for real life, how to organize your home, and how to teach your kids the Bible. You could have been advised on how to teach children to follow instructions, how to keep them motivated, how to help them love reading…..even how to help them choose a spouse!  You might have attended classes for dads who want to read aloud to their children, or for moms who want to provide better nutrition for their families. You’d have been able to hear why we should read fairy tales to our little ones, how to nurture competent communicators,  how to parent in an internet age, and how to fan the dreams of the people we love.

Yes, of course, there were also classes on how to better teach math, and language arts, and P.E., and Latin, and art, and a variety of other subjects…and yes, they were helpful. But what I came away with was a strong desire to be a more supportive and encouraging wife, and a more fun, nurturing mother.

I was reminded that relationships are more important than academics, and that the Bible is the most important curriculum we own. I was reminded that my children’s souls are more important than their brains, their IQ’s, their grades, and their test scores. (And I’d venture to say that all of us, regardless of our educational choices, need to be reminded of those things sometimes!)

I am thankful for all those reminders. I am thankful that, even though I already had bought all my curriculum materials for the coming school year, I went ahead and browsed the vendor booths, because I found what I hope to be several great parenting books, along with this little gem, whose title caught my eye and wouldn’t let me walk past:

How to be a Great WIFE…even though you homeschool!

Even this book–or at least what I’ve read so far–is less about home schooling and more about making your husband’s needs a priority. So far, I’d recommend it for ANY wife who wants to improve! Troy got a couple of great “dad books,” too, so we’ve got a nice little stack of motivation on our bedside tables now.

I’m also thankful that the conference coordinators had the foresight to realize that, after all the mind stretching and soul searching we’d be doing, we’d need some comic relief thrown in. So, they scheduled two performances of Tim Hawkins, our all-time favorite comedian, so that we could laugh ’til we cried before heading back to the real world.

(Learn more about Tim Hawkins here, or look him up on YouTube.  He’s clean, and he’s stinkin’ hilarious!)

Thanks for stopping by!

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