Sunday, July 30, 2017

Secrets {a Litfuse Blog Tour review}

Last month, I attended the homeschool conference in Denver, Colorado.  It was a fantastic experience and I had the chance to interact with a lot of really great people.  One of those amazing people was Melanie Young, of Raising Real Men.

We had a number of really fascinating conversations, but one of them really stands out.

Melanie and I were talking about porn.  In the middle of the vendor hall at the convention.  For a half hour or more.  We're part of a group of homeschool moms, busily planning the best math program, or the right history sequence.  Meanwhile, there is an epidemic out there impacting men, and we are fooling ourselves if we think that Christians are exempt.  We are fooling ourselves if we think homeschoolers are exempt.  We are fooling ourselves if we think that it couldn't happen to our boys.

I was left with the conviction that as part of the "older women" in homeschooling circles, I can't stay silent about the issue, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me.

So, when Litfuse was looking for folks to review Secrets: A True Story of Addiction, Infidelity, and Second Chances by Jonathan Daugherty, I knew I needed to go for it.

I'm glad I did.

Secrets starts off a lot of years ago, when Daugherty first encountered porn in a magazine as a 12-year-old.

Let me tell you what the publisher had to say:
Everyone has a secret or two, a part of their life they would rather not share with the rest of the world.

But for Jonathan Daugherty, his secret was so life-altering and relationship-ending that he fought to keep it hidden at all costs. And it did cost him. His secret kept him from contentment, peace, and the possibility of being known and loved for who he truly is. That's what any secret addiction can do-but in particular a sex addiction.

After his wife finally discovered his secret, their marriage appeared to be over. In Secrets, Jonathan honestly and courageously shares his story of addiction to pornography and how he lost everything to it.

But that's not how the story ends. While Jonathan struggled, someone else was at work-his heavenly Father. At the lowest possible moment of his life, God stepped in and brought him hope and healing. This is a story of both loss and redemption that gives hope to anyone who has ever experienced the power and struggle of addiction and its life-destroying effects.

Addiction doesn't have the final say over Jonathan's life or in his marriage. The God who finds the lost, heals the sick, and brings life from death has the last, victorious word.
  • A courageous, honest and open account of life as a sex addict and how sex addiction destroys marriages.
  • A life-affirming and personal story of recovery and redemption that will inspire readers.
  • Offers hope to all who struggle with pornography and sex addiction.
  • Each chapter includes a "Living in the Light" section designed to equip and help readers find freedom from addiction.
  • Suitable as a study for support groups of addicts and those who care about them.
I expected to struggle through this book.  Instead I was surprised to find this a relatively easy book to read, and I was pulling for Jonathan.  And for his wife.  There is no doubt that he has an addiction and that he makes a lot of mistakes, but the descriptions are not graphic.  Of course, it helped a lot that the description of the book told me this was a story of recovery and redemption.  I'm not sure I would have been able to get through it if I didn't know this book offers hope -- and not just to those who struggle, but to those who know people who struggle.

Daugherty pin3
There are lots of people out there struggling.  And porn addiction does ruin lives.  It breaks up marriages, ruins relationships with friends and family, and absolutely kills trust.  But God.

God is bigger than all of that, and God uses broken people all the time.

All the time.

This book reminded me of that, and Jonathan Daugherty is doing fantastic things by putting this book out there.

This is a book I'd love to get into the hands of lots of people.  Because porn is easier than ever to find, and the statistics show that kids -- male and female -- are finding it at younger and younger ages.

We need to not bury our heads in the sand.

Disclaimer:  I received this book through LitFuse Blog Tour.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.  

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


I could not begin to tell you just how many times I have watched Mary Poppins.  It's definitely in the hundreds.  Probably pretty high in the hundreds.

After our money field trip yesterday, we sat down to watch Mary Poppins yet again, specifically to see the scene in the bank where the directors sing Fidelity Fiduciary Bank.  You know the song...

If you invest your tuppence
Wisely in the bank
Safe and sound
Soon that tuppence,
Safely invested in the bank,
Will compound

And you'll achieve that sense of conquest
As your affluence expands
In the hands of the directors
Who invest as propriety demands

So we're going along, watching the movie, and Mary Poppins has Jane and Michael heading out to run some errands.  Mary Poppins tells Michael to hurry it up.

I've seen this scene hundreds of times.  For some reason, though, as she told Michael to stop stravaging, it hit me that I had never heard that word before.  I clearly knew what it meant.  But I had never actually heard it.

So I looked it up.  Stravage.  Or stravaig.  It's Scottish.  And it means what I had always "heard" in my head.  Michael is roaming, dilly-dallying, wandering.  

What a cool word!

Of course, apparently, Ms. Poppins mispronounced it.  She says something like "straw vej ing," but according to Merriam Webster, the root word is "straw vague."  (To use something resembling real words here.)

I just found it interesting that I never heard the word before.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Learning about Money

Had a great day with my younger two today. Among other things, we were working on a couple of AHG badges. No, Richard has not joined American Heritage Girls. But the Money Management badge is GOOD stuff, and I told him he had to work on it too.

We started the day over at Farmer's State Bank in Ellicott.  Trina talked to a couple of the tellers, as there was nobody else in there when we arrived.  Jessi mostly.

Jessi told Trina about some of the things she does as a bank teller.  She has to know which type of form people need to use for all kinds of different transactions, so she showed the kids deposit slips, counter checks, withdrawal slips, etc.  She talked about the difference between savings and checking accounts, and showed her where the safety deposit boxes are.  She explained the education needed to be a bank teller.  She also told her that the really important thing she had to do as a bank teller was NOT to tell anyone about anything they weren't authorized to know.  So if Trina went in and asked what the balance is in Richard's account, Jessi can't tell her.  But Jessi can tell Mom, since I am on his account.  

There were a lot of people in setting up bank accounts, so we headed to town to do some grocery shopping, with the plan to come back.

At the store, we did some comparison shopping, looking at name brand vs. store brand for a bunch of things.  The store brand was always less expensive.  We compared chicken nuggets, peanut butter, parmesan cheese, ketchup, string cheese, and lasagna noodles.  We talked about my basic strategy with store brands, which is to try them first.  There are a couple of items where I don't like the store brand, and I am willing to pay more for the name brand.  We discussed the fact that Grandma would pay the extra money to get Skippy Crunchy peanut butter.  She just liked Skippy.

We also compared different size packages to see the price difference per ounce.  There we looked at chicken thighs, ketchup, peanut butter, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese.  The 32 oz store brand ketchup cost more per ounce than the 22 oz store brand did.  Otherwise, bigger containers did cost less per ounce.  We had a great conversation about when it is a good idea to buy the biggest containers, and when it makes more sense to purchase a smaller size even though it costs more per ounce.  

Of course, the idea of not being able to go through a bigger container is foreign to kids who have grown up with three big brothers.  

We also needed to replace a cheap pair of headphones, so while we were at it, we did price comparisons there too, and discussed why we were choosing the $13 headphones instead of the $5 ones.  "You get what you pay for," was mentioned in the AHG book, so we talked about it there.

Back at the bank, we talked to Josh's dad (aka Mr. Yoder) about why it is a good idea to use a bank to save up money, what the bank does with the money, and he talked a whole lot about compound interest.  Good stuff, all of that, though I think Trina's eyes glossed over at some point in there.  Mostly, she tracked with him.  

Then we went to see Cheryl and both of them opened up savings accounts.  Cheryl gave them passbooks with deposit and withdrawal slips, and gave them each a pen.

It was a productive day, but we still have more to do to earn the Money Management badge.  Mostly, that is going to involve some Bible reading to see what God has to say about money