We think that your marriage is a wonderful forum for instilling values, beliefs, principles and morals. Society sometimes just doesn’t know what to do with great men, great women, great dads, great moms, and people are often baffled by the wise, well spoken,  and well centered children focused parents produce.

We were very proactive in our parenting. We share the details of how we raised our kids is in 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make. The main point is that all along the way we prayed specifically and planned intentionally. We developed a Learner and Leader Plan with a yearly Farrel Family Fun Day and on this day each year we negotiated privileges and responsibilities. We gave them a gift that applauded their calling each year.

We reinforced good choices with a Teen Relationship Contract, Education Contract, Driving Contract, and as media developed, we added in a Media

10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make; Got Teens; 10 Questions Kids ASk About Sex

Contract. We added in plenty of fun like, father son trips and individual time with mom enjoying their favorite activities with plenty of time for deeper conversations.

At sixteen we gave them car keys with a verse on it, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;  that each of you should learn to control your own body  in a way that is holy and honorable,”  (1 Thes. 4:3-4 NIV) .

We also gave each son an ID bracelet with that same verse on it that they wore on dates.  Then as they prepared to launch into their own life, we have a walk into manhood inviting all their mentors to a celebration.

We also have a Freshman Foundation Dinner and Dialogue which is a series of five sets of discussion questions we used to talk through critical areas as our children went away to college. (All these are available at our Love-Wise website).

Farrel family

Sometimes people say, “Bill and Pam, you are so intense”.  We agree, we are intense—and intentional. Parenting is hard work, but the only thing harder is to not do the work and have to do much more repair work later because you didn’t spend the time sowing right thinking into your children’s lives.  We just elected to do much of the hard work early so we could enjoy the fruit of having kids making wiser choices as they grew up. One mentor said to us, “Pay now or pay later—but you will pay.”

Bill and I found working and planning together as parents drew us closer as a couple.  As a grandmother, I helped author, Raising a Modern Day Princess, because I was motivated to also

Raising a Modern-Day Princess by Pam Farrel and Doreen Hanna

Raising a Modern-Day Princess by Pam Farrel and Doreen Hanna

help my granddaughters (and  grandsons) make wise choices.  As grandparents, we want to back up all the important wisdom our now grown kids will be passing on to their own children by reinforcing the

values mom and dad are sharing.

We know God’s desire is for us to be proactive in passing along our values:

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates (Duet 6:6-9)

10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make

We encourage parents to leave their trademark on their children ™

T- Traditions, the things you do yearly to pass on your faith and values.

M- Memories, the special once in a lifetime events or activities that build into your children.

So talk together about what you hope for as your children journey with you. What traditions, what memories do you want to plan in order to pass on your belief system?

Lord, help us be proactive in preparing our children well for the life journey you have for them. Give us wisdom and creativity as we plan traditions and memories. Amen

Pam and Bill Farrel are the parents of three godly grown sons, who each married God-honoring wives, and are raising 5 grandchildren to love and serve God too. The Farrels have penned several parenting books including 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make and 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex. (Harvest House Publsihers) The Farrel family loves to gather on Bill and Pam’s live aboard boat in Southern California.

Pam and Bill Farrel
and family

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

Hello! And a very Merry Christmas to you! Maureen Pratt here for my monthly blog which, this year, just happens to fall a couple of days after one of my favorite holidays – you guessed it – Christmas!

Maureen pic from booksigningWhat I especially love about Christmas is that we get to bring out many of our dearly-held traditions. Whether it’s in baking, decorating, music, or Scripture study “what was old is new again” as we celebrate the Season.

How does this relate to writing?

Well, it reminds me that sometimes I miss “old” traditions of the authorial kind. Writing long-hand, for example, and seeing how, as thoughts poured out on paper, the penmanship changed. Not that I’d like to go back and write an entire manuscript in that manner. Arthritis, you know. But the process  is certainly worth revisiting.

Another tradition or, rather, several with one purpose, was how we edited. Cutting and pasting, anyone? Erasing so much that a puffy pile of erasure residue wafted around you when you stood up from your desk? Or, that “old” stand-by – the smelly, sleek white liquid that dried to a crackle and gave any manuscript that “patchwork” look. “Brilliance in a bottle,” of sorts, because you had to be very sure of how and where you used it -It could get messy, and once you covered over something, you probablycouldn’t recover it intact, if it was a major revision.

Yes, nowadays, we have computer programs that automatically back-up our drafts to the “cloud,” so we will never lose a word. We have the ease of technology in erasing whatever we want and, for that matter, moving whole lines of text from one place to another. My! Have times changed!

But what hasn’t changed is the attention truly effective editing and revising require. “Back in the day” when revising could be physically painful (I did my MFA in Playwriting pre-computer, and well remember the agony of having to re-type page after page!), I and, I’m sure, many authors, spent lots of time thinking over just what needed to be altered once Draft 1 was finished. This thought process not only saved finger muscles, it also helped deepen and strengthen work; truly, the more levels you allow yourself to think through, the more full-formed the final product will be.

How do you get there without going back in time to write in a more “primitive” manner?

One very solid way of letting the editing process unfold deeply is to give it time. Finish a scene or a draft, and then let it sit for days, or even weeks. Then, re-read what you’ve written and maybe even let it sit longer before you tackle the rewrite/revision. Yes, give it time.

Another helpful tool is one I learned in grad school. After you’ve finished a scene or a chapter, make a list of questions that relate to what just happened. These questions can be about the plot, character development, scene, or anything that you wonder about (Is it all clear? Is there something that doesn’t need to be there? Is the character unfolding, or too well-developed too early on?)

Third, to let our work “go deeper,” we ourselves must grow, too. It cannot be all about the writing, but rather the life you lead as you write should inform what you write about and how you write it. So, let your life happen, be active, be curious about the world, and, most importantly, pray for greater wisdom and insight so that that light may shine through the words you set to text.

It’s way too much of a stretch to say that I’m going to dig out my typewriter this year, and there won’t be a bottle of white erasing fluid on my desk. But as we approach a brand new year of writing, I’m going to try to hold onto one outgrowth of the traditions gone by. That is, I’m going to really think before I delete, and dig deeper than ever before when I edit and revise.

What a wonderful journey that will be! And, I hope that you, too, will find your writing journey as fulfilling and graced as can be throughout the New Year and beyond!

Joy and peace,
Maureen

www.maureenpratt.com

http://blog.beliefnet.com/gooddaysbaddays/

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

Drawing Closer Drawing Closer to God

Dianne Neal Matthews

The Bible is full of questions asked by God, Jesus, ordinary people, Satan, and even a donkey. Some are questions that we wrestle with but are reluctant to voice. Others are asked to comfort, to convict, or to reinforce spiritual principles. Drawing Closer to God: 365 Daily Meditations on Questions from Scripture explores 365 of these questions and shares practical application that can help deepen our relationship with God and strengthen our daily walk.

Read More →

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

BioPicBlues Jan here, writing to you from the sizzling Sierra foothills of California. It feels like a great time to retreat to a cool place and write . . . or venture out and engage in a strong interview.

Today I’m continuing my series on interviewing for writing. Handled professionally and well, interviewing can yield long-term relationships which impact both your writing and your marketing.

Looking at those moments of the interview, let’s talk about when the story gets difficult.

Read More →

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssyoutube