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Meditations on Doré’s Biblical Artwork Masterpieces (e-book) Meditations on Doré’s Biblical Artwork Masterpieces (e-book): Mom, here is a pair of books to fuel your own devotions. Buy the book of 219 pictures. . . more >>

Ethel Barrett CD #3 of Stories for Children: Blister, and Other Stories of Trust and Obedience Ethel Barrett CD #3 of Stories for Children: Blister, and Other Stories of Trust and Obedience: Memorable stories to train young children to trust and obey. Treat your family to an unusual listening. . . more >>

Ethel Barrett CD #2 of Stories for Children: Stop in your tracks! Bible stories Ethel Barrett CD #2 of Stories for Children: Stop in your tracks! Bible stories: Memorably told stories to build the faith of young children. Enjoy listening to the telling of these. . . more >>

Monthly Archives

How to be a fascinating mother

Thursday, 08. May 2008 by Renee Ellison

Become a storyteller. When you aren’t actually READING noble things to your children (for example, missionary biographies), always be TELLING little life stories with a noble purpose. Use the time when you’re running errands or having lunch together to artfully aim these stories at the bull’s eye of their little hearts. Scour your own childhood for incidents that you can drive home to build up their character. Then scour YOUR parents’ lives for stories from their childhoods that you could use to good effect. Avoid stories like “grandpa got away with this mischievous deed.” Nada. Tell stories about the old hard-working man up the street, or that good-hearted lady down the street. Make up imaginary ones, if you want—just make sure that the intent of the story is to show how God’s ways ALWAYS win-out, always WORK and BLESS. Tell them with a twinkle in your eye. These childhood memories, flowing from a mother’s lips and heart, are priceless for a child.

How long should my skirt be? and what about jewelry?

Wednesday, 07. May 2008 by Renee Ellison

About skirt length—your husband KNOWS; ask him. I wear mine about six inches off the ground. If you keep the fabric of your skirts plain and classically understated (you only need about two basic skirts) and wear lovely BLOUSES, (for the variety), all the attention will be drawn to your face, where your eyes express the love of the Lord. Attention drawn to flamboyant shoes, flouncy patterned skirts, and chunky legs and calfs all militate against KEEPING the stranger’s eye on your face and not on your lower half.

The longer the skirt, the less you have to worry about hose, etc. You can wear comfortable knee socks, or sandles…and warm leggins’ when it is cold. Longer skirts and dresses make your life far more simple. I’d dress this way for selfish reasons even if modesty wasn’t a reason. Ditto on the jewelry. It really gets down to “Am I grooming myself to be an ornament, or as the Lord’s servant with rolled up sleeves?!” (For further reading on these topics, see Feminine Dress.)

Filed Under: Home management tips

How should I love God?

Wednesday, 07. May 2008 by Renee Ellison

Love God in the same manner than you wish to be loved. With sweet outpourings of the heart, in detail, and continuously . . . doing every round of duty with contentment because your mind is fixed on the Beloved.

Filed Under: Spiritual tips

Is it selfish to want to give so much to your family? How much should I serve outside the home?

Tuesday, 06. May 2008 by Renee Ellison

No, it is not selfish to want to give so much of yourself to your family. In fact, it is one of the few litmus tests for spiritual maturity the apostle Paul listed for elders (1 Timothy 3:5). The Lord REQUIRES it of serious disciples (Titus 2). If you can handle ALL the problems that happen in a home, the outside world is a piece of cake, later on! I counsel all moms of young children to do “next-to-NO” work/service/ministry outside the home—because every time you do, you shortchange your own family’s development, security, godliness. When your children mature, THEY will extend your life into the big wide world—you triple (or quadruple, or however many children you have) your input and influence in the big world, later on. No one wants help, counsel, tips, or service from a woman whose family is known in the community to be a disaster. Conversely, they’ll beat a path to your door if your family is a spiritual, emotional, relational and academic success!

Ringside seats

Sunday, 04. May 2008 by Renee Ellison

Wouldn’t it be wild if when God creates the New Heavens and the New Earth, it again takes him SIX days, only this time we get to WATCH! Talk about special effects!!!
(Note: Ethel Barrett tells the story of the first Creation on our CD of her Bible stories. Read about it here.)

Filed Under: Spiritual tips

Forced smiling exercises

Sunday, 04. May 2008 by Renee Ellison


Each time you say something to your child, practice forcing yourself to stop a moment EACH TIME and warmly smile at him/her FIRST, then say what you have to say. Remember that your child never sees their own cantankerous face; they only ever see YOURS. Bark less, smile more, and your sweet quiet presence will change the entire atmosphere of your home. God gave mothers the far-reaching power and influence of a quiet bomb!

Live french fries!  Potassium boosting energy!

Sunday, 04. May 2008 by Renee Ellison

Squeeze juice from a whole lemon onto a dinner plate. Slice a raw sweet potato, really THIN. Dip each slice into the lemon juice (thus coating both sides), then place on flat platter (or dish) and sprinkle with salt and parsley (or dried cilantro is even tastier). If you want, you can add cayenne pepper to just a few of them to see if you want the entire batch that much zestier next time! It has a wonderful crunch, and gives fabulous ENERGY afterwards! Far better than that sluggish feeling that comes after eating saturated-fat french fries. Make these in the morning and put in fridge for a pick-me-up snack for the children in the afternoon. Raw nutrient joy. Super yummy! At our house, these disappear FAST. (P.S. If the sweet potato is moldy, and sometimes you can’t see it…it can make you feel tired, so look for fresh ones.)

Filed Under: Nutrition tips

Quick Piano is cheaper than driving your child to a piano lesson

Friday, 02. May 2008 by Renee Ellison


A customer ordered Quick Piano yesterday because, as she explained it, “We had just quit taking our boys to piano lessons because it was getting too expensive to get there with these gas prices, so your piano course appealed to us.” And, the gas is only part of the expense Quick Piano will save her—and you, if you buy it too. For the price of one or two piano lessons, it saves you $750 for the first year of piano lessons (50 weeks @ $15/lesson—at least!). And that’s just a point of efficiency. How it functions is stellar.

Children love structure and routine

Friday, 02. May 2008 by Renee Ellison


Ask yourself, “Is a blind man free-er to run around on a desert island (surrounded by sharks), WITH a fence around the edge, or WITHOUT a fence?”

The “fence” of structure and routine provides the security to be “freely me”...for a child. The ideal is to provide academic structure, i.e. progressive, incremental increase in brain capability during your mornings, and then provide expanding opportunities, house maintenance work, physical body conditioning (power walking, weight training) , music, and home based businesses in the afternoon.

Mom, if your lifestyle/circumstances presently defy enough structure and routine, try to get some “sameness” and predictability in the evening routines. Your children will thrive upon it. Children, just want to know WHAT we’re going to be doing, and WHERE we’ll be doing it, ahead of time. This makes life seem familiar and conquerable. And it makes our children feel secure, and confident about their place in it. Delivers them from dizziness in their wee stomachs / psyches!

Putting on empathy glasses

Friday, 02. May 2008 by Renee Ellison


Try seeing all conflict from the other person’s point of view. In fact, begin to look at your normal everyday life through each family member’s eyes ALL DAY long. Look at your day from your children’s viewpoint, and from your husband’s. ‘Tis eye-opening…jaw-dropping.

Filed Under: Spiritual tips