book cleaning.

recently, i’ve been doing something i never thought i would do: getting rid of books.

my husband thought this to be ridiculous behavior (“i have always thought books to be the one thing i wouldn’t have to ‘go through’ with you”), but nonetheless succumbed to my desires.  i have issues with clutter, even clutter of the mind, and i’ve felt recently like i couldn’t be happy to pick just one book because of all the options set before me.  so i decided to slim down the options.

there really isn’t much one can do with cast-aside books here in Japan, especially those written in English.  perhaps the library would want a copy of “The History of Orthodox Judaism”, but i doubt it.  the box has been sitting in our car for a few weeks now.  we are resisting the trash, and perhaps a few of the books will find their way back upon the shelves.  but there are a few that i’m certain will not — parenting books.

oh goodness.  as an avid information seeker, i have been prone to the many promises made to parents, even by christian marketing.  but i am also prone to follow what actually may be good advice, but which is not meant for me, my family, or our situation.  i feel like i’ve spent a large amount of energy recently trying to reprogram my mind from some of the well-meaning things i’ve read on parenting to date.  perhaps its my personality, driven to perfectionism.  perhaps its my fallen nature, desiring the simplicity of rules rather than the struggle of relationship.  perhaps its bad advice packaged in a nice way.  whatever the cause, i’ve had a burning desire to cleanse my life of these words and start over clean, fresh.  to learn from God Himself about parenting.  (what a novel idea!)

there are a few books that have not advice, but encouragement for the parent, which will remain on my shelves:

sacred parenting by gary thomas (about how God uses children in the life of the parent to shape, grow, and mold them into His image — will make you so very thankful for your children, and helps you let go of your worry over the ‘end-product.’)

you and your child by charles r. swindoll (an oldie that might be out-of-print, but a really good read that considers how the parent might help each unique child discover the way God intended him/her to go in life, knowing that way is different for everyone.  amazing wisdom for parents on how to love the children God has given you and appreciate them for who they are.)

raising your spirited child by mary sheedy kurcinka (this book has been invaluable for helping me to understand jones’s unique temperament and how to help him understand his emotions/reactions and respond appropriately, as well as diffuse and rework frustrating situations for the both of us.)

a mother’s heart by jean fleming (just a very, very good book directed toward mothers on the loving and care of their children.)

the mission of motherhood by sally clarkson (an encouraging and challenging read, calling mothers to the high task of reaching the hearts of their children.)

and when i’m able, i plan on adding this book to the library:
parenting is your highest calling (and eight other myths that trap us in worry and guilt) by leslie fields (this one comes highly recommended, and after reading a review of it over at holy experience, i was sure that this would be a good book for parents to read, especially those that tend toward guilt.  *ahem* ME.)

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