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The new Girlhood Home Companion now in production is available for pre-order. Reserve your copy today! This precious issue features the Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss author of the Christian classic Stepping Heavenward.
The Stepping Heavenward Bundle consists of:
The Stepping Heavenward Girlhood Home Companion Magazine
A Glimpse Into the Past : Mother & Daughter Conversation on Audio CD
Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss
By Jill Novak
After a year-long internship, my son Eric came home to visit before planning to seek work in another state. I found myself wanting to spend as much time with him as possible because time was so short. I wanted every moment to count, and I didn’t want to forget them, so I kept a journal of the things we did together as a family.
One morning, when I came out on the front porch, Eric was already sitting there writing a letter to a friend. My husband was there also, enjoying the morning, and he and I began to talk.
It wasn’t long before Eric made some witty comment about his “chatty parents,” and I promised to be quiet. It was enough just to be in his presence.
His presence – suddenly tears came to my eyes. I thought of the Lord. Do I realize I’m always in his presence? He is always present but am I? It’s one thing to be in someone’s presence, and quite another to be fully present.
We’ve all experienced when the person we’re talking to is distracted. Their gaze may wander, they may look down at their watch, or they may text and try to listen at the same time. They are not fully engaged in the conversation. But this isn’t true of the Lord. He is always completely available – ever present. I am the one who is usually distracted. I have to work at quieting my heart to experience the fullness of His presence.
Basking in my son’s presence and savoring every moment together made me realize that basking isn’t a chore, it’s a delight – especially when you love someone.
To know the Lord is always present makes all the difference in the world. And in His presence, there is fullness of joy.
It’s time for another Remembrance Press giveaway. This time we’re giving away two issues of The Girlhood Home Companion. To enter please leave a comment about what you learned as a girl that has shaped your future as a wife, mother, or grandmother. What skills did you learn when you were younger and who taught them to you? How have you grown as a Christian homemaker, and what skills do you want your daughter to know before she begins a home of her own some day?
Answer any or all of the above questions.
Winners will be drawn November 1st.
Winners are :
I love autumn. I think it is possibly my most favorite season of the year as the harvest takes center stage in one of nature’s grandest productions. Familiar aromas tantalize the senses, and the changing foliage turns the landscape into a riotous feast for the eyes. Vibrant mums, decorative pumpkins, and rustling cornstalks frame doorways, while falling leaves cover neighborhood yards with confetti-like carpets of red, yellow and orange. Feathery goldenrod and delicate purple asters add a splash of color to nearby fields, and within weeks the whole countryside takes on a golden hue.
October is the month when our focus turns to preparing our homes for the long winter months ahead. The cooler temperatures draw the family inside and the kitchen becomes the center of comfort. Whether served up in steaming pots of soup or slathered on a pieces of thickly sliced homemade bread, nurturing foods abound as autumn ushers forth.
The pears gathered at the end of September have finally ripened and pear butter time begins. Scurrying about like squirrels, we hurry to “put up” our precious jars of preserves. With grateful hearts, we celebrate God’s goodness as yet another precious jar of pear butter is added to the pantry shelf. Yes, autumn is a time when you surely reap what you have sowed, and sometimes what others have sowed as well.
My children have learned the diplomatic art asking neighbors if they can pick their unwanted fruit in trade for a jar of amber colored pear butter. The neighbors couldn’t be happier to contribute, and the children couldn’t be happier to spread the rich gooey preserves on English muffins or toast. The remaining fruit that isn’t preserved will find its way to our tea table to be savored in sandwiches or deserts.
In this month’s tea cozy, we share a variety of tea sandwiches and desserts made with pears, the golden fruit of autumn. Enjoy these “pearfectly” delectable recipes and a cup of pear tea as you listen to this month’s tea cozy conversation with Linda Stubbs of Prairie Flower Farm. Linda shares how her family participated in the Wichita Farmer’s Market a few years ago, and how the Lord touched many lives through His bountiful provision.
We pray this installment of The Tea Cozy Club is a blessing to you and your daughter as you settle back and enjoy refreshment for both heart and soul. We thank God for His abundant blessings as we celebrate the harvest together with you.~ Jill Novak
Order your download of the October Tea Cozy installment and audio conversation here
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If you have more than one child, you already know how they all have different personalities, spiritual gifts, and learning styles. I’m convinced this affects the kind of writing they love to do. I have four children, and the journey to equip them to write has been interesting and challenging at times. Visual learners often have an edge on auditory or kinesthetic learners. They see sentence structure and punctuation as they read; they’re born editors. Sometimes auditory and kinesthetic learners can zoom right past punctuation, running one sentence into another. Absorbed in content, they often don’t see anything but the words. The irony is that many auditory and kinesthetic children make the best storytellers. Of course, I’m speaking in generalities. Most children have a secondary learning style that complements the first, but depending on how your child is wired, he may struggle with the act of writing, classifying himself a non-writer.
Nonetheless, all children love to talk about what’s important to them. Have you heard the writing potential in your children’s oral story accounts? Do you have a child who struggles with the act of writing but could be a great writer if someone would just connect the dots for him? We want all of our children to freely communicate what’s on their hearts, to tell us about life from their perspective. Well, journaling their life stories on a regular basis allows them to do that, giving them ever-present subject matter from which to explore how to use language and grow as a writer.
To inspire your children in the area of journaling, here are six practical steps to take to unleash the writer within.
1. Help your child understand the writing process.
Writing is thinking. It’s a process by which we take the inner working of our minds and hearts—our thoughts, perceptions, and feelings, and express them on paper. Your child needs to know these things: You don’t know what you’re going to say until you start to say it. Writing is a process of discovery. It will take your mind places you didn’t know it was going. It will make you use words you didn’t even know you knew—and that’s the fun part.
If your child says there is nothing to write about on any certain subject, just tell him he won’t know what he’s going to say until he actually starts saying it. Tell him to listen for a title or the first sentence, and once he hears it in his head, take it from there.
2. If you can talk, you can write.
No two people are alike. Each one has a different way of expressing himself—his own writing voice consisting of inborn rhythms, vocabulary choices, and ideas. Is your child an auditory learner? He needs to know his talking voice can become his writing voice. That’s why journaling is so valuable. It will give him an opportunity to become familiar with his unique writing voice as he records his life stories.
3. A reason to write.
Imagine a world without words: no Bible, no books, no journals, no letters—no past, only present. No remembrances of your life because you didn’t like to write or you wouldn’t take the time to write it down. “Preserving your life stories for now and future generations” is reason enough to write.
4. Write from what you know.
Writing from what you know is much easier than having to make it up. You’re never at a loss for writing material when you write from your personal experience. Have fun and be creative. Everyone can write and should write, not because they have to, but because they get to.
5.Transcribe the entry.
Transcribe journal entries for little children or older children who are not fluent (unable to take all the words they have in their head and put them on paper). Become your child’s scribe until he is able to take over, either through writing in a journal or typing his entries on the keyboard. Help him gain confidence by removing the hindrances until they’re a non-issue.
6. Read other people’s journals entries.
Reading other people’s journal entries is all that is needed sometimes to unleash the writer within. When my son, Eric (21) was home for a visit in September, we gathered together as he began to read his journal entries from when he was a boy. Then, my daughter, Anna (13), began to read some of the entries I had transcribed for her when she was a little girl. It was a poignant moment as we relived the past through the words of their experience, and it was just what Anna needed to hear. Later she said to me, “I want to a creative writer just like Eric!” Yes, I thought, this is exactly why Eric began to write. I read other people’s journal entries to him.
All four of my children’s journal entries (ages 15 to 2) can be found in The Gift of Family Writing. Spanning a period of eight years, I documented the process by which they learned to write, what they wrote, and the simple methods you can utilize to encourage your own children to grow as writers by journaling their life stories as they happen. You can purchase The Gift of Family Writing here.
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Jill Novak & Company