Genius Advice

Boy Genius Diagnosed with Autism Has IQ Higher Than Einstein …and Jacob Barnett has a some insightful, interesting, and VERY encouraging advice for you in this video from his session at TEDxTeen.


Behind every great man there stands a great woman and at this point in young Jacob’s life it’s his mother, Kristine Barnett. She’s written a memoir and it is apparent from the book review below (and article linked above) that the inspiring tale of Jacob’s life was very-nearly a much different story, but for his mother’s great love and heroic fortitude. Not only in Jacob’s regard, but throughout the travails of the Barnett family as a whole.

Book Review: ‘The Spark: A Mother’s Story Nurturing Genius’ by Kristine Barnett

“The Spark” is compulsive reading, and not simply because of Jake’s “savant almost obliterated by the system” story. In the tradition of those domestic-adventure memoirs where the mother (almost always the mother) of a challenged child bucks the system and triumphs, Barnett not only fights heroically on Jake’s behalf, she also beats down every other obstacle that life hurls at her and her family. Even for this hyperbolic genre, those obstacles are extraordinarily severe. The Barnetts’ second child, Wesley, is diagnosed with a reflex disorder soon after he’s born. It causes him to have seizures, up to nine a day, and to choke on simple liquids.

During her third pregnancy — with another son, Ethan — Barnett goes into full-blown organ failure; she subsequently has a stroke, at age 30, and is diagnosed with lupus. With the onset of the Great Recession, Michael Barnett loses his job at Circuit City, the family is overextended financially, and the Barnetts spend part of the frigid Indiana winter in a house without heat.

Gather the Family Around to Watch the Video

Jacob has a simple message, but one packed with much food for thought and good fodder for family discussion (and for personal introspection) on lifelong learning and what to do with it throughout your life. Jacob is not merely a genius, he is an encourager of the limitless imagination in all of us.

Things I Must Tell the Children

I wish you all a blessed day of motherdom! Whether you’re a mom or a recipient of motherhood, happy Mother’s Day to one and all.

BUSY MOMS… A tender ‘old-school’ moment with a timeless message for mothers (and others). This one broke my heart in a very good way. You should watch it ;o)

CAREER DAY… This is super cute. I have to warn you though, it will make you want to be a parent -like, right now. Actually, it may make you want to be a teacher too. I say, go for it!

SONS… As a mom blessed with three sons, I can assure you this will look familiar if you’re a mother to sons.

JUST LIKE ME… Aww, this brings back precious memories. Your heart will be glad you watched this, no matter how old your children are now.

99 BALLOONS… Motherhood isn’t always easy, it can often be bittersweet, but it is always -always, a blessing.

A Mother’s Prayer

A_Mothers_Prayer - Sidney Carter

I have a sneaking suspicion this is true…

“Eventually you realize that the reason God didn’t always answer your prayers is that He was answering your mom’s prayers.” – Robert Brault


Sanctuary Sunday is a Sunday blog series focusing on matters of faith, spirituality, wisdom, and the Journey.

Heart-based Parenting

Christian Parenting Handbook

From The Christian Parenting Handbook, by Dr. Scott Turansky & Joanne Miller, RN, BSN

I’m going to go out on a limb here and recommend this book, a book I have not read, based on the fact that I really trust the authors’ parenting advice. I’ve been receiving their free Parenting Tips emails for years and there are nuggets in each one with practical suggestions to help you better relate to your children and change their hearts, not just their behavior.

Notice it’s not called a ‘Childhood’ handbook; it’s called a ‘Parenting’ handbook and for good reason. Behavior starts with the parent and stems from their heart. If we are well trained, especially in the ways of the Bible, it surely has a positive effect on our children’s behavior, and more importantly, on their hearts.

If you sign-up Dr. Turansky and Ms. Miller’s emails, take a few minutes to poke around their website too. The National Center for Biblical Parenting has many resources for families and church or small group settings.

Here’s a little preview of what to expect in the Parenting Tips emails:

Helping Children Take Responsibility – Part 1

Some children have a hard time taking responsibility for their faults and weaknesses. A debriefing after a discipline time is always helpful. When your child is ready to go on with life take a few moments and talk about what happened.

We encourage parents to ask, “What did you do wrong?”This question helps get the conversation going. Ask in a gentle way, not accusing. This allows your child to admit what he or she did wrong. It’s important for children to take responsibility for their actions. If others were involved, as they often are, a child should not excuse misbehavior by blaming someone else. The foolishness of others doesn’t justify a wrong response.

A common mistake parents make is to engage in dialogue about the whole situation, trying to figure out who else was wrong, what was fair, who started the problem, and why such things happen. Those questions may be helpful at times, but you’ll get much further in helping your children change their hearts if you start by asking “What did you do wrong?” Most children don’t like to admit their faults. They either blame others or just try to overlook the problem.

Your simple question can help children see their own mistakes and learn to take responsibility for them. When two children are fighting, for example, be careful not to focus on just one child’s offense. Usually when two children are fighting you have two selfish children. Ask each of them this simple question. Teach the offended child how to respond properly.

Confession is a spiritual skill that children need to learn. It helps them take responsibility for their part of the problem and that’s always the first step toward change. All of this can be started with a great introductory question, “What did you do wrong?”

Learn more about having a Positive Conclusion after discipline in the Heart Work Training Manual and CD #5 by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

Click here to read summaries of all eight lessons.


Sanctuary Sunday is a Sunday blog series focusing on matters of faith, spirituality, wisdom, and the Journey.