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(MC25)

Dear Sisters,

This issue of The Mother's Companion is the largest one yet! I'm excited to be able to offer you more encouragement than ever before. And I'd still like to expand coverage of our homestead and include more recipes and home schooling tips, so we probably haven't "maxed out" yet. I'm presently putting together an issue on grandparenting from submissions I've received from grandmothers. I'm also working on an issue devoted to adoption and infertility. So you can look forward to these in the near future!

The lead article this issue deals with the very personal and intimate topic of birth control. I believe this may well be the most important topic I will cover this year. It was an unusually difficult topic to write about, with more than the usual amount of time spent on editing and rewriting. I pray that the extra effort will be of benefit to you, and that God will use this article in many lives for His glory.

A woman from the United Arab Emirates (I had to look this place up in my atlas!) recently wrote me a letter I thought you would find interesting. "Life here is so very much different than when I had Stacey and Ian [her first two children] in Canada. ...Every culture does things a little differently of course, and has different ideas about life, including children and families. The 'Local' people, for instance, Arab Nationals, adore their families and children, and can be seen out in the parks in the cool evenings, with large groups of children in tow, playing on the equipment or picnicking. They like large families; five, six or even ten children are not uncommon. It makes it easy to go anywhere as a family. Despite their modest dress, breast-feeding in public is no problem as it is accepted as a family thing. You don't get dirty looks for a fussy baby or toddler; in fact, people will offer a sweet, or to take and rock your baby! In contrast the British influence I find hard to deal with. One of my British friends reminds me that in England, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is only a "national" Society, while the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is "Royal". In other words, they think more of their dogs than their kids. Indeed, most are certainly more tolerant of bad puppy behavior than a tired and hungry toddler." I thought this was a good reminder not to assume our own "Christian" culture's norms are automatically in harmony with Biblical standards---they often simply aren't.

May God bless you as you read, and as you seek to be His servant to your families.

Blessings,

Helen E. Aardsma

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