Archive for the ‘thanksgiving’ Category

Originally Published November 25, 2008

Yesterday I went to teacher’s conferences and one of Sarah’s teachers- the mother of young children- said that she wanted to just sit and ask questions because my children have turned out so good! She said that we “must be doing parenting right”!

If she only knew…

Anyway, I told my children when we were sitting around the fire and they laughed and laughed! The 16 year old said, “yeah people are so surprised when I tell them how my parents fight and all the stuff that goes on here. They assume that we have this ‘perfect life'” She said if she was an only child she would be totally screwed up. Its because the children work together, support each other.

It occurs to me that they are like a union- organized to negotiate with those holding power over them. So, when I get unreasonable with one of them, the others are right there defending their sibling. At another teacher’s table, I mentioned that Sarah is really enjoying cheerleading with his wife- the coach. This teacher had Joanne too and knows that Joanne always dissed cheerleading and cheerleaders. I told him I was totally shocked that when I was reluctant to let Sarah cheerlead with the skimpy clothes and all, JOANNE came right to her defense and convinced me that I needed to let her do it.



And thank GOD for our firstborn, Hannah! When she was a late teenager, she told me that I need to give the children some money and let them choose some of their own clothes. She said when she was in elementary school (at a private Lutheran School) the other children would tease her and were mean. She thinks its because she was a misfit because I “dressed her up in dead old lady clothes”. Every child of mine since has had that privilege (within tight financial constraints so they are good thrift store and sale shoppers). Here are my older two daughters. Thanks to Hannah’s intervention they overcame their mother’s dumb and dowdy style. 🙂 (see also Body Image- “extreme Mom makeover”? they haven’t done the makeover… yet )

They turned out GOOD- (which is more important than beautiful)

They turned out GOOD- (which is more important than beautiful)


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Grown daughters of QuiverFull families are also known as “Quivering Daughters” in some circles. My daughters and sons grew up with fundamentalist, patriarchal, homeschooling parents. But I wouldn’t describe them as “quivering”. They are arrows going forth into the future, sharp, straight, and true.

Four of the eight children of my Full Quiver are majors (over 18) and this post is dedicated to them. In some respects, I have grown up with them because I have learned so much from them: by their character, by the ways in which they challenged me to re-think my theology.


My firstborn, Hannah, went away to a conservative Christian college down south. I remember when she came back for her first Christmas break at age 18 with so many opinions, so outspoken, I thought they had turned her into a “feminist”. Even as I corrected her for “disrespecting her father”, for “questioning authority”, something deep inside me admired that she had such freedom and assertiveness.

During her senior year, Hannah took a semester off to participate in medical missions. Nowadays, she is married and in her third year of medical school.


Daniel is gifted in carpentry and participated in two building related mission trips. He went to Alaska at age 13 with a group of mainly adults and senior citizens and helped build a house for a pastor. And he built a play structure for a Christian school in Nicaragua. Nowadays, Daniel is married and walks in Jesus footsteps in a myriad of ways including working in the carpentry field.




Joanne had her own opinion about fashion since she was 3 .

When she was a young teen, I was very harsh with her. Used to search her drawers and confiscate forbidden tank tops. She also broke all my dating rules. She started sneaking around with a 17 year old boy when she was 14. No matter how much I grounded her, she went right back to it again.

Nowadays, Joanne wears tank tops without condemnation and is happily married to her high school sweetheart (whom I love dearly. He has forgiven me for being “the gestapo”) . She has served on two medical missions in the DR and is finishing up her PA.


Karen was world class opinionated in High School. When she got accepted to world class Harvard, some homeschooling friends (whose son she liked) spoke to me of their concern that the liberal climate of Harvard would corrupt her. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that the most heated discussions around our dinner table involved her political clashes with her conservative parents. She supported Obama (though she wasn’t old enough to vote for him). And I know Karen. Some people would call her a “rebel”. If anyone tells her what to think, she is likely to think the opposite. Her first time home from college, she said “Mom, you are not going to believe it but since I’ve been at Harvard, I’ve become more conservative.”

Karen has expressed a desire for ministry in Asia. Here she is- looking right at home- during a CCC summer leadership training program.

As a YoungLife volunteer in an ethnically diverse school district, here is Karen as camp counselor.







I’m excited that all four flying arrows will be headed this way for Thanksgiving. The married three will be accompanied by their spouses.

Although known as “minors”, rest assured that my younger four are not “minor” to me. Pray for me and my husband, that we may receive a second wind and an abundance of God’s grace and mercy so that they can be well launched.


Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Ps 127:5 (The Message)


Indeed, I am blessed!

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