So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

During his final speech to the parties of the United Nations, President Obama read a letter written by six-year-old named Alex. He was a young boy from New York, with a mind untainted and a heart filled with hope. With the purest faith only a child can possess, he writes to the most powerful man that he knows of and requests that President Obama himself drive Omran to his home in New York. Omran, the young Syrian boy who made history with the footage of him being removed from the wreckage of a worn torn building; lifted bleeding and matted with dust and injury into an ambulance, sitting stunned, ripped from his innocence.

In detail, young Alex speaks of his intention to give Omran a home and to welcome him to become a part of his family. He goes on to promise that his sister will catch butterflies and fireflies for him and that he will teach him to ride a bike. He promises to bring his new brother to make friends with his friends and concludes that he will also teach him addition and subtraction. All beautiful promises to nurture and love a child and support a sibling the way his parents have so clearly done for him. President Obama, clearly affected by the words expressed by such a young child, moves forward with his speech saying, ‘We could all learn something from Alex.’

Truth be told, I have not been able to get 10 seconds into this video without being reduced to tears. This boy. This dear, sweet and innocent boy saw a child who had a need and immediately thought only of how he might be able to help. He didn’t see this boy’s skin, this boy’s heritage, this boy’s faith, he saw only a boy just like him.

We are not born haters. Hate is a learned behavior. We live in an age of instantaneous news feeds met with immediate running commentary based largely on feeling and opinion. Fact checking is too frequently considered after the fact. The big news is the best news and fear mongering is a great way to go after it. Alex wasn’t afraid. Quite to the contrary, he was bold. Writing to the President of the United States requesting a drop off in his driveway! But where did Alex get his courage, his kindness, his generosity of spirit from?

I am a parent. I have three little ones entrusted to me. It is my responsibility, my privilege to raise them as beacons of light. But how? How do we find the balance? How do we teach our young to be cautious but not afraid? To have two feet firmly rooted but be willing to go when called? How do we teach them of God’s great love for us when we live in a world torn apart by agenda, deception, hate and greed? Whether it be missiles or boardroom brawl, the darkness of our world is moving in and leaving many wondering if it is even worth the time in lighting a candle.

Martin Luther King Jr. was once quoted as saying, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.’ This iconic man had a dream, one we are all familiar with. A man aware that silence is as big a threat as a trigger.

There was another man with a similar message, penned to a book that has been carried down and throughout history. In 1 John 1:5 the author writes, ‘The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.’ In verse 7 he goes on to write, ‘But if we walk in the light as He (Christ) is in the light, we are in fellowship with one another.’

To oversimplify a metaphor, imagine your child frightened in their bedroom at night. Their nightlight has gone out. The shadows chasing down their wall from the faint light of the moon has created uncertainty in their minds as to what they are seeing and if these things they are imagining are safe. Calling out for comfort you enter their room, letting in the light. Immediately, the fears amidst the unknown of the dark is set straight.

There can be no dark in the light.

So what then is our responsibility as parents? As citizens of the human race?

Be a light in the darkness. Lead by example from a place of hope. Be bold and ask the most powerful man that you know for His wisdom and unending grace.

As president Obama said, we could all learn something from Alex. I know that I have. I hope that you do to.

Be encouraged!

Amy Bruinsma

Hello! My name is Amy and I am The Optimistic Mama! I am a stay at home mom married to the love of my life, doing the best I know how to be to our three little people. My hope is to grow them into difference makers, each their own beacon of light. I live in rural Southern Ontario where I enjoy (extremely) early mornings with my wee ones leading to full coffee mugs and beautiful sunrises, walks amongst the trees, small hands in mine, adventures in stick and pebble collection and anything in between. The intention behind The Optimistic Mama is to be voice of encouragement in a perpetually exhausting season of life. My hope to all who read my words is a simple one; be encouraged!

Jesus of the Rock Bottom Rescue

In: Faith, Living
Sad woman sitting on floor

Have you ever hit rock bottom? I have and it was the scariest place I’ve ever been but that’s where I found Jesus. Where I truly encounter the Holy Spirit and the healing power and life He can give. I was raised in a Christian home by good parents that would have given their lives for me. I was raised in the church and loved by my church family. I enjoyed going to church as a child and I loved Jesus my whole life. At the age of 8 years old I asked Jesus into my heart and was baptized....

Keep Reading

While I Wait for Another Door to Open, I’ll Hold One For Someone Else

In: Faith, Living
Woman teaching another woman by computer

I’m waiting for another door. All my life, I’ve been told that when God closes one door, He opens another. And here I am, staring at the imminent end of the business I’ve built from nothing. Closing down what I started up from sheer willpower, too much caffeine, and the bold determination to work for myself. Scratching out what I made from scratch . . . and it feels horrible. God didn’t just close this door. He slammed it shut, boarded the whole thing up, and hammered the nails in where I cannot pry them open. Believe me. I’ve tried....

Keep Reading

Separating Work From Home is a Must For Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom with baby smiling

If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 11-year-old boy with his pale feet sticking out from under the blanket, on his way to the morgue after a gun accident.   If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the still, blue form of the 3-month-old who passed away in his sleep. We gave CPR and all the medicines “just in case,” but that baby was gone long before his caregiver brought him in through the door. If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 3-year-old...

Keep Reading

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

In This Stage of Marriage, it Feels Like We’re Roommates Who Share the Same Kids

In: Faith, Marriage
Distant couple on phones in bed

How do you get it back? How do you get back the love you once had? Everyone told me marriage was hard and having kids was hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought everyone was lying because our relationship was solid before marriage. We were best friends. Some days I feel like we’re roommates who share the same kids. It disgusts me even to say that, but it’s the truth. Marriage is hard and has ugly sides to it that everyone seems afraid to talk about. RELATED: Keep Showing Up Even When Marriage is...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

I Am a Good Enough Mom

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother kissing toddler

I came to motherhood knowing nothing about the job. My mother’s example wasn’t an example at all, more of something to forget, and maybe even get therapy for. My own son was the first newborn I’d ever held. When I became a mom, I was 23 and clueless.  Because of my personality, I wanted to do everything right and parenthood was no exception. I read all the books on parenting I could. I talked to older moms and soaked up all the advice they gave me. Having no idea what I was doing made me look to outside sources to inform...

Keep Reading

God’s Plan For Me Wasn’t What I Expected

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman walking with children silhouette

I grew up in a family where we knew who God was. We went to church, and we were involved in church. However, when we weren’t at church, time spent in the Word fell to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were wonderful people, but we didn’t make that a priority in my house.  Going into adulthood, I realized I had deceived myself into believing I had a relationship with God. I knew God loved me, but I questioned whether I loved Him. I wasn’t living life in a way that was glorifying to Him. I’m not only...

Keep Reading

But God is Still Good

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking out window

“I can’t afford a new one,” I thought to myself as I shampooed another stain. This can’t keep happening. Maybe I made a mistake. I have to make this last. And the couch. And the clothes. And all the things. We are done having babies. The price of food has doubled. It’s astronomical to fill the cars with gas. Things are closing in on me. How can I best serve my family? Survival mode engaged. When I read the news, when I follow the headlines, when I listen to the conversations around me . . .  I hear fear. Loss....

Keep Reading

Jesus Helps Me Smile Through the Weary Moments of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding toddler girl, color photo

“Mom, why aren’t you smiling?” My 4-year-old took one look at my face, and like an open book, she could read me. Sometimes I wish I could hide it better, tucked behind an infinite smile or a pasted-on happy face. Sometimes I wish my beautiful children—so young, free, and fun—wouldn’t see my face on a day like today. RELATED: Motherhood is Hard, But Loving You is the Easiest Thing I’ve Ever Done You see, it’s just so hard—all of it. And I am just so tired. Between working a job, trying to keep up with being a supportive wife and...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.