When I started blogging in 2005, a woman named Karen with a blog named from the prairie left a comment on my blog which was then called Two Talent Living. I’m not certain how we initially connected, but I’m guessing it was through a website neither one of us would recommend now! LOL!
Over the past nine years I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this online friendship as we’ve shared our blogging experiences, followed stories together, and encouraged each other that we weren’t going crazy thinking a certain way about different topics. It is amazing to me that someone I’ve never had the opportunity to meet in real life and have only corresponded with and spoken with on the phone could have been used in such profound ways to bless me and encourage me in the faith.
The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling
Karen (now blogging at that mom) released her first book The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling: when the one anothers come home last spring and it is well worth your time if you are a parent whether you homeschool or not. While Karen writes a great deal about homeschooling in the book, it is at its heart a book about the parent-child relationship with a strong emphasis on the Scriptures.
I was fortunate to be in an ongoing dialogue with Karen during the years she was formulating the ideas for her book and then writing it. Why? Because I truly believe it saved me a lot of heartache in my own parenting journey. Karen often spoke about the fact that our children are not our adversaries and it was a message I needed to hear. Too often parenting experts (especially in certain Christian circles) present children as adversaries who need to be dominated and defeated. This is just so wrong.
Our Children Are Not Our Adversaries
Caroline is not my adversary. She is my child, my sister in Christ, and I hope (as Brenda often says) that I’m raising my own best friend of the future. The mix of my own strong introversion and Caroline’s spiritedness would make it easy for me to slip into feeling like Caroline is my adversary. But that is not the case. Nor is it the case for anyone who has a differently-wired child. These children require a lot of parenting skill, energy and time. There is no doubt about it. But they are not our adversaries or someone to be conquered.
Karen’s emphasis in the book on the one another verses in the Bible I think will also help parents reflect on their parenting approach and perhaps keep them from making big mistakes with their own children.
Be forewarned. Karen is a strong proponent of homeschooling in the book. And the book is full of Scripture. If either of those ideas bother you, the book may not be for you. But if you are looking for encouragement to love your children in practical ways instead of a list of rules, I truly think you will enjoy this book.
Karen also shared about her motherhood journey with her son with Asperger’s in this guest post.