Friday, January 15, 2010

The Duggars: 20 and Counting!

The Duggars: 20 and Counting! is the first book by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the now famous couple featured on the Discovery Health Channel. Arkansas parents Jim Bob and Michelle have eighteen children, with the most recent addition to the family in January 2010. Many of us have trouble bringing up two, but they have, through a strong belief in simple principles and values, brought up their family lovingly and efficiently.

There are many useful pointers in the book about organising systems for a clutter-free home with so many children; practical financial lessons as we learn how Jim Bob and Michelle built their own business from scratch amidst finding the time (and money!) to raise a big family and to homeschool all the children; as well as how to build good and strong relationships with children.

But, for me, the biggest takeover is how the most important thing in their lives is their love for their family, and how their lives revolve around the children. The other big takeaway is how a strong values system, particularly in the values of diligence and care with spending and investing money, and resourcefulness can make a difference in all our lives.

Here’s a particularly meaningful passage from the book:
But, having gone through them [bringing up little ones] seventeen-going-on-eighteen times, we urge you to take time to enjoy these days, despite your frustrations and exhaustion. Leave the house a mess now and then, and simply spend the day playing and enjoying your children. Because here’s the truth we’ve learnt by heart: each day may pass slowly when you’re tired and weary, but the years pass quickly. Today your children are totally dependent babies; tomorrow they will be grown and gone.

One day we were driving down the road when all of our children were small and buckled in their car seats. Jim Bob looked back at all those little faces and said to Michelle, “These are the best days of our lives, and we don’t even know it!”
How true for many of us, especially those with small families. We are so busy trying to get ahead in our lives that we don’t even realise that these are the best days in our lives. And years later, we regret we had not done differently. So, cherish what you have now.

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