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Summertime In-service

       Years ago as a public school teacher, I would periodically be required to attend in-service teacher training seminars. Courses from classroom management to creative chart making were among the electives taught to keep our skills sharp.

      There is a story about two men who were chopping down trees for a lumber company. Both men would chop away with their axes, but one man would frequently sit down for a little while before resuming his work. The other man was convinced that he would chop down more trees than his companion; but to his amazement, the “lazy” man chopped down significantly more by the end of the day! The “hardworking” man came to the other and asked, “How is it that you could chop down so many more trees when you obviously weren’t working as hard as I was?” To that, the second man answered, “I merely sat down to sharpen my axe. As a result, my axe never grew dull throughout the day.”

      How often do we forge ahead or simply plug along day after day, going from activity to activity without ever stopping for some in-service training in the most important job we’ve been assigned to—the job of being a wife and mother?

      Three to four decades ago when we were being raised, there were virtually no Christian bookstores filled with the hundreds of parenting books and DVD’s that are available today . . . not to mention the hundreds of websites now available on the Internet! Now we truly have “no excuse” for finding tools to equip and sharpen our lives.

       A well-known pastor in South America, who pastors a very large cell church, was once seen one day reading a book entitled, “How to Pastor a Cell Church”! What humility! If someone with that much success continues to educate and train himself, then how much more do we as mothers need to be praying and filling our minds and spirits with God’s Word and excellent books on the most important job we have?

In 1 Timothy 6:20, Paul instructs Timothy to “guard what has been entrusted to your care” (NIV).

       Mothers, are you guarding what has been entrusted to your care? Do you spend your “free time” reading everything from mysteries to romance novels, or watching television programming that promotes anti-Biblical, politically correct humanism? Remember that Satan disguises himself as the “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:1 NIV). Be careful not to be swayed by his destructive tactics just to build “self-esteem” in your children. 

      I love when Debbie Harper says , “Read your Bible . . . know the Word of God as if your life depends on it!” Yes, friends, immerse yourself in what God’s Word says about being a godly wife and mother. Further, I’ve listed below what I consider to be my “Classic Collection” of Biblically-based books on my most important job—my high and holy calling of wife and mother.

Summertime In-service Reading List!


  • The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
  • Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearlace
  • Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
  • His Needs, Her Needs by William F. Harley


  • The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot
  • Family-Driven Faith  by Voddie Baucham
  • Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald
  • Be Fruitful and Multiply by Nancy Campbell
  • Family Man, Family Leader by Phillip Lancaster (for your husband!)


  • Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
  • Keeping Our Children’s Hearts by Steven and Teri Maxwell
  • Raising Maidens of Virtue by Stacy McDonald
  • God’s Promises for Your Children by Mike Shreve
  • A Mother’s Heart by Jean Fleming
  • Praise Her in the Gates  by Nancy Wilson
  • Watchman on the Walls by Anne Arkins and Gary Harrell 

      After God’s perfect and holy Word, these are the books that God has brought into our lives. These are not necessarily books that you will readily find at a mainstream Christian bookstore, but you can easily find them on the Internet.

      As our convictions for God’s “holiness” grow, we long for that in our marriage and in our children. If you long for that as well, dive into some of these books, and join the journey! In the process, you will find that your axe becomes sharper than ever!



Copyright © 2008-2015 Alyson Shedd

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