Monthly Archives: July 2011

I am thinking about APATHY- At age 41, early middle life, with my house full of children, responsibilities unending, laundry ever present, broken belts on vehicles, locals please note the parking of my large van near a certain coffee shop, and no I am not living there, leaking water heaters causing the need for replacement of flooring and said water heater, throw in a couple of walls etc, sofas ripping at the seams, something and someone always needful of my limited resources, my brain power, my energy, my presence, my essence. I find myself at times slipping into a state of non-caring about the things going on in the greater world around me, other than of course the doings of my Facebook friends :-).

I looked at the definition of apathy, and it’s causes and offshoots, and recognized that at times we may all suffer from either overload or under stimulation and over competency or inability, all of which can contribute to apathetic behaviors or feelings. In my role as a long time homemaker and home educator I can suffer from all of them simultaneously in varying degrees and seasons of my journey.

One thing I did discover is the virtue of “apatheia” which is a good thing in terms of learning to manage one’s emotional responses to the things we truly cannot change in the moment, and I do think that maturity can bring that about in our lives if we let it. Still, apathy itself is not desirable and it is important to find ways to continue reaching out even in our own times of busyness with our own business.

Apathy (also called impassivity or perfunctoriness) is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical or physical life.”

“Although the word apathy is derived from the Greek ἀπάθεια (apatheia), it is important not to confuse the two terms. Also meaning “absence of passion,” “apathy” or “insensibility” in Greek, the term apatheia was used by the Stoics to signify a (desirable) state of indifference towards events and things which lie outside one’s control (that is, according to their philosophy, all things exterior, one being only responsible of his representations and judgments).

In contrast to apathyapatheia is considered a virtue, especially in Orthodox monasticism”

“Apatheia (Greek: ἀπάθεια) in Stoic philosophy refers to a state of mind where one is free from emotional disturbance. This might be translated as equanimity or indifference. This is the root of the word apathy. Apatheia must, however, not be confused with apathy. Apatheia is a positive term; apathy, a purely negative one.

Whereas Aristotle had claimed that virtue was to be found in the golden mean between excess and deficiency of emotion (metriopatheia), the Stoics sought freedom from all passions (apatheia). It meant eradicating the emotional response to external events – the things we cannot control. For the Stoics, it was the optimum rational response to the world, for we cannot control things that are caused by the will of others or by Nature, we can only control our own will. This did not mean a loss of all feeling, or total disengagement from the world. The Stoic who performs correct (virtuous) judgments and actions as part of the world-order experiences contentment (eudaimonia) and good feelings (eupatheia).”

Old song which is a good reminder to keep looking up and out.

Apathy Alert- De Garmo and Key

I hear the news, I read the paper

There’s no choice, it fills your senses

I share the hurt, I share the heart-break

It comes each day, the news is so relentless

My heart goes searching for a place to hide

I hear a voice of warning down inside

Apathy alert

I hear a voice inside shouting to my heart

Apathy alert

It’s time to do what’s right

It’s time for me to do my part

Broken dreams and breaking hearts

Every place you look, but who can change it

What can I do all by myself

I’m not a king and I’m no prophet

I hear a voice of warning down inside

Breaking the silence, breaking thru the ice

Apathy alert

I hear a voice inside shouting to my heart

Apathy alert

It’s time to do what’s right

It’s time for me to do my part

Degarmo and Key- 1985

Good article to ponder

Some interesting thoughts on how we, or out children, may arrive at apathy in an overstimulated world and how to direct the energies and passions properly.

Sherry- July 20


The sting of the tongue of a critic

Drains life and cuts you with it

Sharp and fast the knife of words

Come forth and with them

Pain and doubt and fear can enter

A wondering if all you are is in question

As the thoughts of another’s mind

Find place to roost in your own

When before you were doing fine

It takes more time and much more grace

To correct someone in love with restraint

To think before you spit it out

Saying all you think without

Considering how your words may affect

The hearer of your blasting mess

So consider wisely both word and tone

Will what you say truly help

Or are you just venting your own pain

Hurting others with your rage

From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks

Be careful what your words reveal

Sherry Carlstrom July 18th, 2011

Some things a woman can do to destroy her marriage or make her husband sorry he married her:


Be unfaithful, shame him





Act like she rules the roost and runs the show beyond her sphere

Speak harshly to people around her

Express ungratefulness for her husbands provision and be real vocal about it

Talk trash about her husband to other people

Disrespect him with her words and actions

Fail to meet his true needs by withholding what she can and should give him

Be lazy

Let herself go too far in appearance showing she does not care to please her husband

Overspend and drag the house down into debt

Keep the house in chaos and disarray,

Fail to properly train the children so they become a shame and a disgrace


Remedy-  Proverbs 31- The Message, just to shake it up!




 A good woman is hard to find, 

   and worth far more than diamonds.


Her husband trusts her without reserve, 

   and never has reason to regret it.


Never spiteful, she treats him generously 

   all her life long.


She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, 

   and enjoys knitting and sewing.


She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places 

   and brings back exotic surprises.


She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast 

   for her family and organizing her day.


She looks over a field and buys it, 

   then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.


First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, 

   rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.

She senses the worth of her work, 

   is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.


She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, 

   diligent in homemaking.


She’s quick to assist anyone in need, 

   reaches out to help the poor.


She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; 

   their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.


She makes her own clothing, 

   and dresses in colorful linens and silks.


Her husband is greatly respected 

   when he deliberates with the city fathers.


She designs gowns and sells them, 

   brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.


Her clothes are well-made and elegant, 

   and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.


When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, 

   and she always says it kindly.


She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, 

   and keeps them all busy and productive.


Her children respect and bless her; 

   her husband joins in with words of praise:


“Many women have done wonderful things, 

   but you’ve outclassed them all!”


Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. 

   The woman to be admired and praised 

   is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.


Give her everything she deserves! 

   Festoon her life with praises!



May we be as she, the Proverbs 31, lady.





July 16, 2011

If I do what I do and love what I love

Will that surely be enough?


If I am what I am

Who I was made to be

In all of my beautiful intricacies


To the best of my best

Whether I am ever well known

Or remain in a state of concealment, or alone.


If I do what I love, from the heart of my heart

Does it matter if I am rewarded or lauded,

Need I be paid or famed or applauded?


When passion is found, for the things we esteem

Important, worthy, life giving, redeeming

Should we not into them ourselves throw

Fully, completely, sowing  our most?


Find what is is, that you would do for free

With zeal and love and all of your being

Do that thing with all of your heart

Surely in the end that will be enough.


Sherry Carlstrom

July 13, 2011

What is the heart of a True Gentle Man?

A gentle man he cares for the heart

He is tender and wise, he is generous and kind.

He thinks of the feelings of those entrusted to his care

Working hard and diligently, he is even tempered and fair

He provides what is needed and looks ahead to protect

Not only the heart, but all of the rest

A man of manner is not just one who does things for show

Opening doors with zeal and bowing low

If it is only honor for the code of honors sake

A man may seem genteel but not be for real

If the things he does are to make himself feel

As though he is better than all the rest

By following some archaic rules not felt in his breast

A true gentle man thinks not too much of himself

For he is concerned with others and how he may help

His life is one of service no matter what level

He does not puff with pride over things he has bettered

Humility and truth reside in his chest

In place of superior thoughts of his quest to be best

Should a woman find a gentle man

Who offers his heart and asks for her hand

She is wise to value the tender and thoughtful

Passing over those with merely sensual bravado

It’s no fairy tale, this Kingdom,

This hero is not make believe

This reality, this life we live

No melodramatic play,

With knights or gallant regents costumed on a stage.

“Tis no tale of fiction, woven on a page,

With unwritten rules not understood that cause the actors pain.

It’s not merely a Historic Epic or a dangerous mystery

With sweeping vistas crossing generations

With so many storylines you may lose position

The action and adventure are not meant to horrify,

Or speak in tones that make one groan or stupefy.

The plot is uncomplicated, with a main Protagonist

A Hero so perfect, so patient, He truly cannot be missed.

Amidst the many sub-plots the enemies of the Realm,

Seek to steal the thunder

Of the only One who can truly fill with wonder.

The Hero he is clothed in mystery, that is true,

Yet He chooses to reveal Himself to those who yield to His pursuit.

He is a lover so convincing in his  multitude of affections

No one could ever match His tender acts of sacrifice and passion.

He meets the needs of His love, even those unseen

He fends off every imposter, exposes every lying scheme

He understands all feeling and so empathizes

His  magnificent strength is matched by His kind and  brilliant mind

This is the real love story, the true epic mystery

It holds the ancient history and the secrets that we need

Flled with adventure and drama and the things in which we long to believe

The questions we want answered are all layered in the series

The ending and new beginning are even thrown in the bonus features.


The rod and reproof give wisdom,

but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

When the wicked increase, transgression increases,

but the righteous will look upon their downfall.

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;

he will give delight to your heart.

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,

but blessed is he who keeps the law.

By mere words a servant is not disciplined,

for though he understands, he will not respond.

Proverbs 29

This is a most famous passage, and often it is parceled out and used in short sections, but when looked at in context, there are some even  more remarkable tools for us to use in training our children, and in staying on course in our own journey.

I am a visionary in many ways, I thrive on planning, looking forward, thinking long term. If I am not at a place where I feel like I can be projecting in some way, I can feel like I will perish, which is exactly how the King James Version translates the passage on vision, “For without a vision, the people perish”. I totally get that.

I like the translation of casting off restraint as well, it is so accurate, if we have not light or path to follow, we will just begin to do whatever seems right in our own eyes.  So it is with children. If they are not given a direct vision, a path for their lives with understanding of what underlies it, they will wander, cast off restraint and in time they may perish.

It is the rod of correction and discipline, and the words of instruction and reproof that we give to our children in love that bring them the wisdom they need to get on and stay on the path that leads to life. When I looked at this today, I saw the joining of the need for both correction, instruction and vision all coming together in ways I have previously overlooked.

Yesterday morning I was watching a sermon on dvd with all of my children, it was a command performance for all 6, including the younger set for whom the message was over the head. I am working to train them to listen and to just absorb whatever wisdom they can.  The 3 year old was not that into it, and was wandering around, I was correcting him in a somewhat frustrated tone as I was doing some other multi-tasking at the same time as listening myself.

He asked me “Why are we watching this”?  he was looking for vision, for instruction, for the path to follow, for the big WHY, to be laid out for him. I looked at him and said “Well, we need to know what is going on in God’s Kingdom and what we are supposed to do as our part in it.”   He was not totally impressed with that answer, again a bit above the head, but I am going to follow up with him on it and give him some more insights as we move along the path.

Another tidbit from the above section of scripture is:

By mere words a servant is not disciplined,

for though he understands, he will not respond.

Often, we really do need more than just words to cause us to respond. As I think of this in regard to training my children, I recognize how imperative it is that I DO SOMETHING, not just talk them to death, which can be a real temptation and snare some days.  They want to see what I am doing and where my actions are leading in order to decide if they want to follow in my footsteps.

So challenging as I often fear I falter before their eyes and struggle to get back up when I am fumbling with my failure.

This portion is a great motivator and reminder:

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;

he will give delight to your heart.

This truly is the desire of my heart, to have children who are disciplined, who give me peace and rest and not conflict and turmoil and who bring delight to my heart, to the heart of  God and to those around in need of people who are as such.

So, I press on, and encourage you to seek God for vision, for wisdom and for the insight to train your children in the way they should go.