Fall 2008


In this issue...
  • The Butterfly
  • Starting School from the Heart
  • Book of the Month: My Big Book of 5-Minute Devotions
  • Just A Thought

  • The Butterfly

    This year we have been fortunate to speak at numerous conventions. One of our favorite stories is called The Butterfly. This is a great example of how struggles in life can make one stronger. This story reminds us that strength is gained through difficulties and overcoming obstacles.

    A man found the cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no further.

    Then the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, but it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand and the body would contract.

    Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

    What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into it's wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

    Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would hinder us. We would not be as strong as we could have been and we would never fly.
    Author Unknown

    Starting School from the Heart

    Each day our family strives to learn lessons of the heart that will help all of us grow in character. We have discovered that the breakfast table provides a great place to bring the family together with an inspiring story or thought. We keep a basket next to our table containing our favorite stories, poems, and scriptures. The first family member finished with breakfast starts reading and then we take turns selecting stories until it is time to start the day. We keep this time simple, short, and fun. Typically our story time lasts only 5-10 minutes, but the lessons carry on far into the future.

    One day I asked my youngest child to listen more closely. She closed her eyes and asked me to repeat what I had just said. When I asked her why her eyes were closed she said, "I am closing my eyes so I am blind like a bat. I am using my ears to see you." We had learned about bats from our Big-book of 5- minute Devotionals the previous week. The lesson was short, but the message hit home. My daughter definitely remembers our teachings when they are tied to a story that interests her. Starting our day with inspirational stories has been fun for all of our children and helped us to begin the day in a positive way.

    Some of our favorite books have been highlighted in previous newsletters, but just in case you missed our past recommendations, here are a few great books you can use for heart work.

    • The Family Virtues Guide by Linda Kavelin Popov. This book highlights 52 virtues, one for each week of the year. There are simple strategies which explain what a virtue is, how to practice it, and signs of success.
    • Everyday Graces by Karen Santorum. This is an engaging book of manners that instructs through delightful stories or poems.
    • My Big Book of 5-Minute Devotions by Pamela Kennedy. This colorful book contains stories of different animals and their outstanding traits. The simple stories engage the entire family.
    • Storytime with the Millers by Mildren Martin. This book contains stories of respect, responsibility, obedience, and kindness as experienced by the Miller Family. There are five books in this series and all of them are excellent.
    We hope you have a wonderful school year. Starting each day with a positive message can help your children develop their thoughts, habits, values and destiny. This month's quote by Gandhi says it all. If you have a favorite character book, we encourage you to share it with us.
    Scott and Traci Heaton

    Book of the Month: My Big Book of 5-Minute Devotions

    From polliwogs to humpback whales, you'll enjoy more than 40 short stories about the unique characteristics of God's love as shown through the natural world! Each illustrated story is easily read in five minutes. Your children will enjoy answering the question included, reading the Bible verse, and saying the prayer. The entire family will love this devotional which includes delightful and humorous watercolors of animals!

    Just A Thought

    "Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny."
    - Mahatma Gandhi

    It is going to be a great day!


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    Past Newsletters

    Four Steps to Raising Accountable Kids

    Choosing the Right Chores

    Making Chores Fun

    Passing on Values

    Back to School Tips

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