Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Look at the fruit, not the tree

My husband and I have been so blessed to have our wonderful children, and the Bible to guide us in raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.


Last week, I was having a particularly rough day where everything seemed to be going wrong. Plus, I was tired from battling allergies. While the boys were playing in the pool in the afternoon, I noticed them whispering with each other. Suddenly, they all got out and announced they were tired of swimming, something they NEVER say so I knew they must be up to something. They urged me to take the girls swimming and relax in the water with them for a while, "at least an hour", while they would just entertain themselves in the house.

After I made them promise that they were not planning any mischief, and that I was not going to walk into a completely disheveled house an hour later, the girls and I went to the backyard and played in the pool. John was out there playing with us, but secretly watching us and making sure I wasn't going into the house unannounced. Once, just to mess with him, I pretended that I had to go into the house to fetch something, and he promptly volunteered to get it for me. 

An hour later, all pruned up, I announced I was done swimming. John, the informant, ran ahead of me to warn his brothers in the house. I walked through the back door to be greeted by my smiling older boys carrying a heart-shaped cake that they had made themselves, completely from scratch. They didn't even use a cake mix because I never buy any. They even decorated it with some candies they found in the kitchen.

The cake actually tasted really, really good. It was super moist but not too rich, and just really tasty. Also, I should add that they did not make a mess of the kitchen at all. In fact, other then the dirty mixing bowl in the sink, the kitchen looked exactly like I had left it. Not sure how they managed to pull that off.


Today, as every time I go shopping with the boys and there are flowers in the store, they were checking the prices and plotting how to pool their money so they could buy me a bouquet. Trader Joe's had fresias, which are my favorite flowers but almost never available anywhere. The boys were crushed because they were too expensive for them to buy, and because I would not allow them to buy me flowers even if they had enough money. They would spend all their money on flowers for me if I let them, and I just don't want that. I tell them they are much more precious than any flowers or expensive gifts. It's the thought that counts, and they literally think of me each time they pass a flower stand. How sweet is that???


Tonight as I was giving Annie a bath in the kitchen sink, a paper airplane whizzed by me carrying a note from our oldest, Solomon, who will be ten next month. Oh, where has time gone? :( Here is what it said:

 Love Airlines - I love you very much

 Love Airlines - you are the best mom

I get love notes from our kids multiple times per day. It is so sweet. I have been so spoiled, and it is not because I am some sort of super parent, because I am not. If it were not for the Bible, I would have raised very different children, if I had even dared to have any. 

By contrast, I would like to share this shocking clip I came across last month. It was mind-boggling to even conceive that such children exist. I will not go into the hows and whys of this child's wickedness, but the blame is ultimately on the parents who created this monster.

God help us all when children such as this grow into adults. People leave me comments acting like we are hateful and radical and a "train wreck", yet our children are all extremely happy, polite, and well-adjusted. 

I'll take the happy, smiling child in the "9/11 was an inside job" shirt over the monster in the pink shirt any day. Don't look at the tree, look at the fruit.


  1. You husband has saved my soul. I just wish I could find someone like him in my area. Thankfully I have the internet.

    God bless.

    Steven from Canada.

  2. My son is only two and the Lord has yet to bless us with another, but whenever I read these types of posts of yours my heart just swells. I sincerely hope I can raise a son (and hopefully more children) to love God, love their mother, love their siblings, like yours do. I covet those types of interactions and blessings. You have a beautiful family.

  3. So sweet!! Your kids are adorable.
    Getting notes like that from my kids always make my day.

  4. What a blessed mama you are! The cake was such a sweet idea! I loved the decorations. :)

    I watched the clip and I was shocked. Perhaps this lady should stop bickering with her son and actually discipline him. Then the poor child would feel happy and loved instead of angry and resentful. It was sad to watch. To me, THIS is like watching a train wreck.

    Love Solomons T-shirt!! Ha!!

  5. How sweet and thoughtful of your boys . The boy on the video must have years of built up pain from daycare and such.

  6. That really doesn't prove anything. As a matter of fact, it could be a sign of something seriously wrong. There is a book called "When A Child Kills: Abused Children Who Kill Their Parents." It talks about abused children who have spent years trying to please their parents. It's a popular book among foster and adoptive parents of children who were severly abused. An abused wife will continually try and please her husband, and even an abused dog tries to please it's master.

    What are your children's real fruits? Did they chip in and donate to help the people of Haiti? Have a bake sale for starving children in Africa? Give a homeless man their money? Sing to nursing home patients? What have they offered to do, with no prompting from you, to help another human being outside of your church?

    1. religious works done with a motive to look good before man mean nothing.. it is what one does in secret that counts according to Yeshua/Jesus.. so what is really your point.. It sounds as though you are irritated because here is a woman of God whom her children, the fruit of her womb, call her blessed, by their love to her.. I will pray for your heart to be healed of this root of jealousy..
      love conquers all

  7. I believe this child is going to end up in prison, or so, later...
    What a horrible person.

  8. What a gift you are also giving the future spouses of those boys! I listened to your husbands training up children sermon last night and I wish more Pastors would preach the same message. Thanks for being such a great example!

  9. Denise~ Have you ever heard the saying, "misery loves company"?.........It is quite obvious you are one of those types.Your critical spirit radiates, your misery does as well. No matter what; you will be the type to see the bad(you just want to), you will be the type to glory in others struggles and you will always be unhappy. Nothing will please you and you will find all the flaws in any person. To even suggest something is wrong with these children making a cake for their mother is disturbing. Jealousy is at the root of your comments. I am not one to just be mean or come down on anyone but you need to be rebuked, so shame on you.

    Zsuzsa~ Your sweet boys!!! What a labor of love.


  10. Steven, that is so wonderful, thank you so much for letting us know! God bless you as you grow as a Christian.


    Well, there, I ALMOST had everyone fooled that my kids were happy and loving, when in fact they are really abused and scared. In fact, they are plotting how to kill me right alongside scheming to surprise me with a cake. If I've seen it once I have seen it a million times.

    Denise just had to get on here and blow my cover! Sheesh...

    Dear readers, I know nothing about Christian love and treating others with respect and dignity, but Denise does, so please check back here frequently for her cantankerous comments.

  11. This "q" is for Denise. I fully expect an response.

    Denise - what did you do in childhood that showed love to another human being. Remember: cannot be to your immediate family. That (as you have implied heavily) means nothing.

    If you did 'give' to someone in Haiti - donate your allowance to the poor - give the proof.

    If you say that since you do not claim christianity so you are exempt from this "q": you are not exempt.

    What I will bet is this: you have not had the love showered upon yourself from a child this way. If so: present. Otherwise, you have become a pathetic symbol of a churlish, envious human.

    **Happy trails, Denise!**

  12. Sad video. Couldn't help but wonder where the dad is. I can't imagine what goes through people's heads to even sit still for a taping like this. What are they like when the cameras aren't rolling? And what is wrong with a nation that hangs on every word from Dr. Phil? Yikes! Are we in trouble, or what??

  13. Your boys are such sweethearts! (I'm not going to give you my opinion on the T-shirt, though I'm sure you can guess what it is...) Denise is a crackpot - children don't have to give money to Haiti to show that they are kind and caring. Doesn't the Bible say that charity begins at home?

  14. Yup, you know how it goes - a cake for mom today means a knife in the back tomorrow. The only way to know that kids aren't abused is if they're rude, demanding, spoiled, and never show their parents love. You've obviously got some maladjusted kids on your hands. Making their mom a cake, sheesh.

    LOL!!! You're doing a great job, Zsuzsanna. Keep bringing on the parenting posts - they are so inspiring! Thank you!!

  15. Sorry: can't.help.myself. To quote the eloquence of Denise: That really doesn't prove anything. As a matter of fact, it could be a sign of something seriously wrong. There is a book called "When A Child Kills: Abused Children Who Kill Their Parents." Now, Denise - this is your mission!! You.must.call.911.on.every.gathering.where.you.see.child(ren).give.gift(s).to.an.adult. Because - SHRIEK!!! They are getting abused!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA*CHOKE*WHEEZE*GASP*...

    Seriously Denise - may I call you Neesie? Neesie-Neester-mi amiga- you have done what doctors recommend we all need to experience: you gave me a belly laugh so loud and long...I must thank you. You are, Neeserella: my benefactress. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry, Zsuzsanna, I know you don't know me, as I haven't commented before. Whoo!! This has to be entertaining to you on some levels, I hope ;).

    A fellow sister in Christ, ala NYC-style. We've seen it all. This one's comment: right up there! LOL.

  16. Diana and Eileen, you are cracking me up!

    I will admit, comments such as Denise's always make my day. It's an easy and quick way to feel good about myself ;)

    As it says, "lovely thoughts from lovely readers". She is up there with the best of them.

  17. Call the po-po there are children treating their parents and siblings with love and respect INSIDE their own home. Where do you think you are raising children? In the USA we give our kids to daycares and schools to raise and then complain when they are home that we don't have and me me me me time.

    It crazy out there. I'm sick of explaining things to people that can't think for themselves anymore. Liberals, Democrats, Republicans, Progressives even Independents have a place on this earth. Where is one to go that is conservative and still believes in traditional values? I can't take living around these fools anymore. I need to be around like minded people.

    Keep fighting the good fight, Zu.

  18. the boy in that video needs a serious beating if ever a kid did. But it's obvious that child has been allowed to act so horribly all of his life and now it's has come back to bite her hard.
    Denise, you are a fool!
    Having close mother-son relationships is wonderful and special, I still enjoy a close relationship with my grown sons.

  19. I tell you that if I'd ever even spoken to my mother that way much less laid a hand on her I'd have been picking myself up off the floor and deservedly so. How sad that this woman let her child say and do what he wanted for so long that he's turned into such a monster. It makes you wonder where his father is... (mine would have beat me senseless if I'd ever treated my mother so horribly and thank God my parents believed in not sparing the rod)
    Denise, you are an idiot!

  20. Wow! I;m imperessed with those boys! They will make awesome husbands one day! Their wives will thank you!

  21. I was so shocked by the video of that boy that I almost forgot to say anything about the rest !

    I know I don't know you pretty much, only by your blogging, and you most certainly don't know me at all, but I like reading your family life articles so much !
    I love children, I'm a scout leader myself and anytime a child ask for a cuddling or a hug, I answer gladly. But I'm still young and have no children or husband.

    Your own children are just lovely. I can think of so many words to describe them as I see them but lovely seems the best for me, or maybe sweet or adorable.
    The boys seem very gentle and loving, and Miriam is already so feminine ! It's amazing.

    I wish I have some children like that when I'm a mom. They are lovely.

  22. I just don't understand why the knee jerk reaction is 'beat the kid'. There's a comment here that actually uses 'beating' which is horrifying to me.

    For all that people laud spanking, I can point out kids who hit only because they are hit.

    Parenting is more than spanking or not spanking. The kid in that video, their needs are much bigger than a spanking.

    I can understand why parents spank, but I don't understand why it becomes the only form of accepted discipline. Further, I don't follow the logic that idolizes it.

    Surely you do more than spank your kids for discipline, or are you literally just smacking them around all day long for every trespass?


  23. Your boys are so sweet , that cake looked great , love the 911 shirt .

  24. The video looks staged to me. There's something off with it (apart from a boy slapping his mom, I mean :)).


  25. Are you kidding me Denise???? I have 3 beautiful children raised in IFB church. Who are lovely respectful GREAT adults not once have they tried to kill me or their father! Keep up the great job Zsuzsanna If I were a betting person I'd take your kids hands down!!!

  26. Well, I've got the love of God, the love of my kids, and money in the bank. I'm quite happy, actually. My kids do bear real fruits. One is in Africa this summer doing mission work. They have all gravitated towards occupations that help people in some way. I don't see fruits as giving your mother love notes. It's a nice gesture, but it's not at all what God defined as bearing fruit. Like it or not, Jesus told us in Matt 25 what we needed to do. Sad that the ones who preach the loudest pay no attention to that. I'm a single parent who makes good money, my kids have gone through public school, and they are all Christians following what Jesus has commanded them to do. On another note, anyone who tries so hard to convince others that their life is perfect sets off a red flag. I'd like to know if the rumor is true. There is someone from AZ who insists that CPS paid a visit to your home.

  27. Denise, good for you. This last comment for once didn't sound bitter. And no, we have never once had a visit, or heard from, CPS. What a bizarre notion!!!

  28. If Zu allowed her 10 YEAR OLD to go to Africa and show the fruit that he shares AT HOME there might be a reason for CPS to visit.

    It would be nice to see these kids that are jet setting around the world so some work right here at home but I do understand some kids wanting to get as far away from "home" as possible.

  29. I would just like to comment saying that if you or the people commenting here actually knew even a little of the background that lead up to where that little boy was your tune would change.

    The words and judgments that are being passed on that boy without even knowing what go them to that point are sad indeed.

    I do actually know some of the background, from the mother in fact, and that isnt a little boy being disrespectful that is a little boy who is so hurt and frustrated knowing that it should have been him that it isnt even funny a little bit.

  30. Let us pray for the boy in the video. None of us believe a child should be smacked in the face. I think he has been smacked in the face. And let us pray for his mother. Our God-the God of the Bible(KJ)-knows the whole story. Psalm 1:1-"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly..." This is what happens when the ungodly are counseling.

  31. The father teaches the children how to treat the mother. If he is respectful,etc. then the children will be respectful. I never allowed my children to wear clothes that had writing, symbols(heart,"Christian" symbols,etc.),or tv/movie characters on them. Just as the peace symbol is an anti-Christian symbol the heart is not really the heart(my daughter's OB had a poster of a heart with an open bottom). Abeka books has a Church History text(12th grade)) that gives a little history of "Christian" symbols introduced from paganism/Roman Catholic church. We were raised Catholic so we don't celebrate the Catholic holidays(St. Valentine's Day,St. Patrick's Day,etc.). There is a Baptist church here on Long Island that has wreaths on the front doors, 2 flags(American and Christian) and artificial trees turning the sanctuary into a grove-like atmosphere. Groves are a place of pagan worship in the Bible. Then another Baptist church here doesn't have any symbols. There are no cars in the parking lot with the Christian fish. Some wonder at the history we are being told about the fish symbol. This is all probably because we were raised Catholic-I don't even like the two candles we have in our Baptist church.

  32. By the way, I agree with what the 911 shirt says. When I see a depiction of the twin towers I feel very sad(grief-tears come to my eyes)- for the people who died and their families. Maybe it's because I'm a New Yorker. My cousin worked at the twin towers but wasn't there that day and she had previously taken my grandmother there to show her where she worked.(Pastor) mikehoggard.com has good video teachings about conSPIRacies,etc. He is KJ only. lasttrumpetministries has online tracts about the holidays.

  33. I think people are missing the point. Zsu is trying to make the idea that at some point, we all have to give a little, some place, sometime. For some, we look to the Lord, for others, their parents, etc.

    Personally, but in America, not notably, my parents were highly abusive of both my older half-brother, myself, and others. They were also divorced and had previous children in ways I can't begin to pretend to understand.

    Maybe everyone should back off a little, let the boys be boys and girls be girls sometime for a reason. Let Zsu and her husband raise her children the way that THEY seem proper and fit.

    I have loved your page, always will. Your have lovely, lovely children and a partner that loves and supports you, in all senses of the word. Just relax, everyone.

    May God bless you, Dad, and the six,
    seventh? hahaha!


  34. P.S. to the 'Anonymous' that posted about Zu sending her child to Africa.

    There was once a child I knew in public school that was known for being rude, rowdy, undisciplined little punk. He also happened to be the son of a methodist minister. At 14, he WAS sent to Africa, to a missionary group. He came back different. Nice, pleasant, just fun, like a best friend. I am 28 and still in contact with him. HE found HIMSELF by realizing how truly privilged he was.


  35. I bet Timothy McVeigh baked his mom a heart-shaped cake. Hahahahahhahaha.

    How sweet and impressive. Your boys are awesome. Mine would probably stab me when I wasn't looking.

    I could not watch all of that video, but did you notice that the number one mistake is that the mother engages in the argument with the child? No wonder the child is so confused. Who is the parent? Not the lady in the video.

  36. I just wanted to say one more thing about this and then I will let it rest.

    I dont think that anyone here is a horrible person but I would hope that perhaps knowing even just a little of the back story with this little boy you see that perhaps he is not the "monster" he is described as.

    That little boy has been through so much hurt and pain and loss only to have it all ignored that perhaps this moment you glimpse him lashing out was his last resort.

    He lost his sister just a few years before this video. His mother lost her only reason for living when she died. She went into a spiral of grief that left no room for this boy in her life. He was created and brought into this world to make his sister happy. And in the end left to feel that he should have been the one to die instead.

    Look at the pain in his eyes and realize that the "monster" is the one who is screaming to be seen and loved.

  37. I've heard stories of young teens going to other countries and coming back different people. I think it's great. I think Denise though herself a better parent than others because her kids went to Africa when in fact that may not be the case. Kids will sometimes do just about anything to get out of a parents house. Seemed kind of judgemental or something to be be stating her adult kid did something that Zsu's 10 year old didn't, ya know? Glory to the Father that she is raising boys to be at home before they go out and tackle the world. ANd then with the CPS comment...seriously? Some people can not win and Zsu is one of them. Agree with her or not she rocks.


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