I loved Loving the Little Years, too, and was thinking about suggesting we read that instead of all Sally books. And, we are supposed to be praying about which book to do next, after Desperate. I was going to recommend Seasons of a Mother’s Heart because it seems like it will be the least discouraging for people like me.
They had originally planned on “Life Giving Home” but I’m not sure I’ll be able to read that one. 🙂ServingwithJoyParticipant
We did the “Life Giving Home” for our mom’s Charlotte Mason fellowship one month and it was NOT a hit. We had moms who felt just like you, that the whole thing was a bit contrived and unrealistic. I guess, for Sally it is reality, and it is her reality, and that is okay. If it isn’t for you, that’s okay too! I laughed reading the comment about Sally Mae – she was one of the keynote speakers at Sally’s conference and has been personally mentored by Sally. So I guess that maybe goes to show that Sally is embracing of different styles of mothering and homes.
I can’t help but think, as I read these comments, that a lot comes down to your culture and temperment. Sally is very southern – hospitality, nurture, cooking, and home-making are a BIG deal in the South (ie: Southern Living, Southern Lady, etc.). It is part of the expectation for women and moms, whether you homeschool or not. Certainly that doesn’t mean it isn’t a big deal elsewhere – but it is traditionally expected of southern women.
Also, Sally is an obvious extrovert – her conferences are exemplary of this as she loves to mingle, meet the crowd, welcome everyone. Have you read the book, “Quiet”? It’s very eye-opening concerning the American cultural bias towards extroversion. So if you are NOT an extrovert, reading an extrovert’s instruction for a happy life, you are going to be put-off. It isn’t going to be your ‘cup of tea’. And personally, I think that’s all right. You are you. Do you and be blessed and happy in that!
Personally, I agree with her that God is unconditionally loving, forgiving, full of grace and truth and willing to work with us in our weaknesses until we are someday (probably on the other side of this life) conformed to the image of his Son. So I have no problem with the statement that God is ‘for us’. But I often have a minor disagreement with an author over their theology, and am still able to glean good from their work. As we say in the South, “eat the watermelon, and spit out the seeds”.
I think your Mom’s heart group would be all the better for a lively discussion of these things! Conformity isn’t the goal – loving each other in grace is! So put it out there and see how everyone feels about your thoughts. Maybe there are others who need to hear what you have to say!heathermaParticipant
I have personally met Sally several times at her small group, and i found her to be scripturally sound, engaging one on one when I felt lost in the crowd, and she truly cares about moms.
<span style=”line-height: 1.5;”>However, I only used the lists in Teaching the Wholehearted Child, as I couldn’t get into her husband’s style of writing at all. I appreciated Desperate, but I prefer her podcasts and blog more than any books, something seems to get lost. Her daughter Sarah’s books, I have found invaluable.</span>
As a practical list maker person myself, I’ve found I enjoy Amy at Raising Arrows more. I check only 4 sites and am vigilant about the voices I allow to influence my life, Sally s, SCM, Raising Arrows and Ann Voskamp (although sometimes I’m not in a place to receive flowery, other times I enjoy the word imagery and read slowly).
I have been part if many studies, groups, co ops, and don’t care to do many of the book studies, even Bible study groups can go awry from taking things out of context, getting sidetracked.
The best advice I was ever given: find one or two other homeschooling families to get together with, do life and be available for, that are similar in faith, education style, and that encourage you in your walk with Chrust.
I totally agree that God is “for us” just not that He “believes in us.” I see those as different.
Her definition of grace as “that which causes delight” is huge to me. When I was a teen, my family was in a cult that based most of it’s messed up teachings on an unorthodox definition of grace. So, redefining grace is unnerving to me.
I used to be an extrovert, before I had kids and got advanced adrenal fatigue. And I live in the South. I am big on hospitality, I just don’t think that my wall decor is even an issue with hospitality. People are welcome to stop by anytime at my house and I LOVE it a friend walks through the door and asks to be fed! But I have no eye for decorating and when someone who does makes my house beautiful, I won’t keep it that way. 🙂
Before I married, I was a missionary in a little village in Mexico. If something is presented as God’s way but would not even be possible for the women in the 3rd world, I revolt inside. I know I need to discuss this with our Mom Heart leader, but when I try to say something about it, she takes it as her home is too “nice” (they just built a new house and it’s gorgeous and cute and not extravagant at all) and ends up being apologetic about her house. I need to find a way to make it clear that it’s the actual words and not her at all!!!!2Corin57Participant
So glad for this. I was actually just invited to do a book club on the book The Lifegiving Home. And… now I’m rethinking it, LOL. A) I don’t want to spend $20 on a book I’m not going to enjoy B) I don’t want to feel let down, or be left feeling inadequate. We’re a special needs family with a different reality than most. I accept that, but I still struggle sometimes with the pressure to “do it all”, and have that “perfect” home, kwim?BenitaParticipant
I believe in the grocery store approach for books that are not scripture.
Meaning- when you go to the store, you don’t buy everything. You don’t like every product offered, nor do you take it all home. Take what you like, what works for you. Leave the rest. We aren’t offended at the other products. We just don’t use them.
Often, we get lost in the details and miss the heart of a person’s message.
I have read practically everything by Sally Clarkson. I think she is encouraging us to minister to our families and to make a sanctuary for our families. There is nothing wrong with this. The meaning is sound. Your application of it may look different. That is okay. She can only share how she has done it in her own home. And that is not something for which she should apologize. Her intent is to give us ideas. Inspiration. A spring board. It is our choice what to do with it.
I have no problem accepting Sally’s ideals- as they seem natural to me. I would never feel comfortable trying to emulate a homestead, all natural, unschooling lifestyle. Because that is not me. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with that way of life. It feels right for those ladies. I am happy for them. I have read some of those resources and chose not to use them. They are not wrong. Just different. Not for me.
I believe it is important to keep this all in mind as we read anything other than scripture. I say keep reading different authors and styles and find what works for you. Some people are feed deeply by Sally Clarkson. Some are not. Find what feeds you. And grow.BenitaParticipant
Can you tell me where she says that definition of grace? I’d like to read it myself and see the context around it. Is she referring to the free grace of God that leads us to faith?MountainMammaParticipant
I agree with Benita and ServingWithJoy that we glean what we can from these authors as long as they aren’t contradicting scripture, but we also remember that real wisdom only comes from the Word. If her words don’t encourage you just pass on that book or study group. Another woman might really enjoy your spot in that group and gain needed encouragement and wisdom.
Also, (just for some background) Sally Clarkson has a special needs son and she is currently co-authoring a book with him about their experience homeschooling and growing up under those circumstances. Part of her enjoyment of tea and chocolate comes from her missionary days in Europe in her twenties. It was a large part of her daily life there and she brought it into her motherhood for her children’s enjoyment. If those ideas aren’t for you, no problem… God’s grace takes so many forms (1 Peter 4:10). That’s the absolute beauty of the body of Christ.alphabetikaParticipant
I can’t add much to this discussion that hasn’t been said, but I just want to say to MissusLeata that these words of yours:
“If something is presented as God’s way but would not even be possible for the women in the 3rd world, I revolt inside.”
express my heart so powerfully, and I rarely find others who feel this way. Thank you for saying it. I do understand the benefit of looking at what an author is saying overall, looking at the big picture and how it may apply to us personally, etc. etc. But where my mind goes first is to the place that you’ve described above.
The book where she redefines grace is called, “Taking Motherhood to Hearts” and it’s for those starting a Mom Heart group. She is refering to ministering God’s grace to others and says, “….it’s most basic definition is ‘that which causes delight.’ Grace is the delightful goodness of God made available to us in Christ, but it is also that goodness expressed through us to others.”
I’m part of the leadership team of this new group. Thus, it’s a bit more complicated than just “skip the book.” I did talk with someone else today who is also on the leadership team who has actually met Sally on many occasions. She assures me that Sally wouldn’t want us to feel like we don’t measure up.
I also find it interesting that Benita above contrasted Sally’s ideals to the natural, homesteading lifestyle. We are much more the homesteading kind with free range chickens and ducks and a herd of goats. We make cheese and goat’s milk soap and are just that kind of family. Maybe that’s the heart of the problem. 🙂Melanie32Participant
Well, I actually am the kind of woman who loves to light candles, drink out of pretty coffee or tea cups, decorate, have tea parties, etc. However, Sally’s books still paint a picture that seems so far out of my reach that they only discourage me. I look for books that focus on the heart of the matter rather than the how because our “hows” , or the way we live out a certain biblical principle, change from person to person, but the heart of the matter is the same for all.
I think Sally is a lovely lady who loves the Lord and wants to encourage others. She has certainly succeeded at that for many, many women but her style isn’t going to be every woman’s cup of tea.
As to her definition of grace….I think she was too free with the definition in that instance but I still think she’s biblically sound over all.MountainMammaParticipant
Maybe your group could study one of her older books instead of Life Goving Home. We are doing Own Your Life in our MomHeart group and have had some really great discussions on listening to the Holy Spirit and being brave through Christ to not conform to the patterns of this world.
I think part of what has made our MomHeart group’s discussions more about the heart issues is our leader. She steers us away from lifestyle topics and back to the meat of deeper topics in our discussions. Maybe you could do that for your group?ThreekidsmomParticipant
I’ve been following this thread with interest as I have enjoyed many of Sally Clarkson’s books. I’d like to ask MissusLeata-you say that Sally “redefines grace”. Could you expand on why you don’t think her idea of showing grace is correct? How do you view grace? For example-in her blog post for today, she (Sally) writes about being exhausted after a conference and getting ready to head to her room for the night when her daughter accidentally spills an entire suitcase in the elevator. Sally was tempted to respond with irritation, but instead by the help of the Holy Spirit, was gentle and helped her daughter-she offers this as an example of extending grace.
Would you agree? I’m not asking to be challenging or criticising, just trying to sort out and understand.
I don’t agree that making things beautiful is being “gracious.” I would absolutely agree that being kind to someone who spilled something is gracious. But grace is not “that which causes delight.” I think that’s confusing what we would call gracious movement (as in beautiful ballet) and the grace of God which is getting something we do not deserve. (Though I understand that receiving God’s unmerited favor does cause delight. I just know that chocolate can cause delight and I don’t have to give my children chocolate to be a gracious mom.)
She says that lighting candles can add a spiritual warmth to a room. I find that really strange and a bit new agey.
She says that “the environment of hospitality is the surroundings that your guests will experience — the orderliness and ambiance of a room that makes it inviting, comfortable, and attractive; thoughtful decor that adds life, beauty, color, and texture; inviting, tasteful refreshments that are creative, healthy, and presented nicely; selected music, art, and books that add fullness and meaning.”
That quote is what I find completely overwhelming. And then when you tie that in with defining grace as basically the picture she painted as hospitality……. I just can’t do all that.beccawalker2000Participant
“The book where she redefines grace is called, “Taking Motherhood to Hearts” and it’s for those starting a Mom Heart group. She is refering to ministering God’s grace to others and says, “….it’s most basic definition is ‘that which causes delight.’ Grace is the delightful goodness of God made available to us in Christ, but it is also that goodness expressed through us to others.””
I just want to pop in here to “defend” Sally. 🙂
Many of you are saying she has “redefined” the word grace, but if you will do a search of the definition in a Strong’s concordance, one of the definitions of the word grace, found in the New Testament, is “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness.”
So while the generalized definition of “unmerited favor of God” is what is so familiar today, “grace” has a very much deeper meaning when you begin to study it.
My dad, also my pastor, recently did a study for us on the grace of God. In it’s fullest sense, grace is the power of God influencing the heart and evidenced in the life. (Again, see the Strong’s Concordance for G5485).
So I would say that Sally has indeed defined grace and even applied it well in her words. And I hope that I’m not offensive to anyone. I simply want to point out that she has not “redefined” anything by the quote shared above.
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