“What is your goal in parenting?”

I stood outside our bedroom door with my head resting on the trim.

Jeremy listened. “Mom comparison” comes fast. And hard. And I’d just laid a week’s worth of “what if I’m doing so and so wrong” squarely on his shoulders.

“What is your goal in parenting?”

That’s what he asked me. We’d talked about this before. Again. And Again. And again.

“That our kids would love God supremely.”

It was simple. But easy to lose sight of in the day to day crazy. And easily forgotten as I compare myself to “her” and “them.”

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 4)

No greater joy than to know that the 5 who call me Mom are walking in His ways.

It’s not about how they’re doing in soccer. Or the number of words they can read per minute. It’s not measured by the time I do or don’t allow them to play video games. Or how clean they keep their rooms.

No. Walking in the truth is what brings me joy. It’s what will give them joy. Through every day ahead of them.

And it’s what we’ve got to live for. To put our efforts toward. To consider most important.

For them. For us. For a hurting world.

“Love God supremely.”

I’ll fail. So will they. But there’s grace upon grace upon grace.





Parenting in Freedom not Fear

We have five kids. And here’s what I know…not a thing more than I did with kid one.

Well, maybe I’ve learned a few things…
-They’ll survive off chips and apples if I don’t have time to fix lunch.
-It’s okay if they go to bed without a bath (for weeks).
-Food with a little dirt on it is fine.
-Clothes can double as pajamas if necessary.

The bottom line…I really (please take this humbly) don’t give a rat’s behind what you think of my parenting.

I’m not kidding.

We fretted with Stephen. Always wondering if we were doing this or that right. Always scared of what you might be thinking. Always playing by the rules and re-reading the books.

But somewhere between grace crashing my life and kid number 5, we found freedom.

Freedom to love these kids so big. Freedom to do outlandish things for the sake of fun. Freedom to care more about what He says than what you are thinking.

I can’t control their futures. It scares the mess out of me. We have limited time.

And I don’t want to waste it worrying if I’m doing everything right.

I can’t. I won’t.

He loves them more than me. I see it in the cross.

They’re really His.

I’ll do the best I can. I’ll try to fix healthy meals. I’ll try to make sure their clothes match. Really, I will. I do.

But at the end of the day, you know Who’s approval we’re really looking for? God’s. Just His. Our Father.

And that gives us freedom to parent. Not for you. But for them. For Him.

Breathe deeply. You don’t have this parenting thing under control. Never will.

But He doesn’t make mistakes. And He loves these arrows more than we ever could!

“He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:11)


Grace Isn’t Working…

Grace just doesn’t seem to be working. I find myself slipping back into law. “No Kindle for you.” “No dessert after dinner.” It quickly becomes a rules/consequences home without me even realizing it.

I’m running from 1 baby to another, and the 3 older boys get leftovers. I don’t have time for the heart to hearts. It’s a quick jab, “Caleb, please stop doing that.” And if it continues then law follows.

I feel disappointed in myself as I write this. Satan waltzes in and empties me with words like “failure, hypocrite, fool.” I want to fight him but I don’t. I agree. Shake my head that yes, I am all of those things and more.

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6a)

I have nothing to offer our kids but grace. I’m a sinner. No good. Looking to law to justify myself and save them.


“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” (1 Timothy 1:15)

I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know how to stop the crazy with 2 babies in order to deal with the sin that comes out of my older boys’ hearts. I don’t know what can change to make time for these necessary conversations.

But I can face today knowing that His grace is bigger than my law. My failure to obey the law is why grace is so big. And so ridiculous. And the only thing that will change me and the 5 little people that call me Mommy.

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It’s how he rolls!=)

School is a struggle for him (and me)

He hands me a letter for Maw-Maw and asks me to put it in the mail. It’s precious really. In a black crayon the words read, “I’m sorry Brenda passed away, but you will see her again.” No prompting of ours. All him. All that tender-heart he’s got.

The words are misspelled. Several letters are backwards. He struggles. I struggle. And thank God for a diagnosis. Knowing the problem is half the battle or so I’ve heard.

And I say to Jeremy, “At least he’s not writing mean things in perfect English.” Maybe it’s an attempt to justify myself and our choice to homeschool. Maybe I feel frustrated again. But it’s true. One day he may conquer this reading thing. I may be able to give him that. But a tender-heart? And a sensitivity to the needs of others? No. That’s a gift from God. One I beg Him to use in the future.

Yes, he needs a good education. Yes, we will keep working our rears off. But what is the true purpose of parenting? Is there more than what shows up on paper?

Thank You, Father, for this little boy. He is teaching me so much.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.” (Psalm 127:3-4)

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Parenting as a Journey

Each stage of parenting is tough. It’s tough having newborns, tough when they start crawling and walking, tough when they hit the terrible two’s /three’s (and it often continues way longer than that!), tough when school decisions must be made. And I’ve heard that the pre-teen and teen years are even tougher.

When I look at parenting as a journey things seem a little simpler. When I remind myself that the journey doesn’t have to be perfect, I find joy. God will give me grace for each step and stage, and through His unwavering love, I will love.