Our fall favorites are here! 🍂

A couple weeks ago, I was sorting through a file of recipes that I’d cut from magazines when I came across the drawing that you see above this article. Our daughter drew this for my husband and me when she was about four. If you’ve ever spent time with a four-year-old, you know that you don’t ask a lot of questions about what they’ve drawn. You’re too likely to interpret a dinosaur as a dog, a rainbow as a horseshoe, or a fish as a picture of great grandma. When four-year-old Krystal  presented this photograph to us, I assumed she had made a drawing of angels. When I mentioned that, she was quick to correct me. No, the picture was of me and her daddy.

We were tickled that she thought enough of us to dedicate time and artistic talent to producing a portrait. I was particularly delighted that she gave her mom and dad angel wings. Wow, we must be doing something right.

Okay, fast forward to the college years. We’re past teenage angst and enjoying relating to our children as adults, patting ourselves on the back for the great job we’ve done. Of course, if our daughter saw us as angels, it follows that we must be pretty good parents. One day, when Krystal was home from college, and I was looking for recipes, I pulled out that sketch and mentioned how sweet it was that she had drawn us with angel wings.

Our daughter smiled and said, “Mom, those aren’t angel wings. They’re hands.”

I looked a bit closer. Sure enough, each “wing” had five “feathers.” Consistently. She had drawn hands with fingers, NOT angel wings. Darn! But you know, after a bit of consideration, I realized that it was better to have our daughter see us, not as angels but as regular people – with great big hands.

Think of all the things parents have the privilege of doing for their children. They hold them, comfort them, feed them, push strollers, build sand castles, decorate Christmas trees, tuck them into bed, turn the pages of a storybook, fold hands in prayer.

In the Bible, in the New Testament book of Matthew, chapter 18, verse 10, Jesus has a conversation about children with his disciples, and he tells them, “in heaven [the children’s] angels do always behold the face of my Father…” (King James Version)

Neil and I didn’t need to be angels for our children. We’re not nearly perfect enough for that role, and, besides, God has already provided angels to watch and protect. Our job as parents is to do our best to be there with our giant and caring hands to help the Father convey to his precious children how very much they are loved.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Sue Harrison

BIO: Novelist Sue Harrison is best known for her Alaska trilogies. Her novels, national and international bestsellers, have been published in more than 20 countries in 13 different languages. Her novel Mother Earth Father Sky was named by the American Library Association as a Best Books for Young Adults. Sue lives with her husband in Michigan, but has family here in Nebraska and love Nebraska's rich history. She is currently writing romantic suspense for the inspirational market. Catch up with Sue on her website and blog – www.sueharrison.com .

In His Hand

In: Faith, Motherhood
Hand of adult holds hand of child with field and sunshine in background

The July sun was turning the sky orange when my 2-year-old son and I headed out to the chicken coop. As we shuffled along in our rubber boots, I smiled at him while mentally making a list of all the things I needed to do that evening: do the dishes, wash my husband’s work clothes, finish that online research, pull weeds in the garden. I also thought about my friend who is hurting, a family member with a health problem, and how hard my husband works. I sighed quietly, feeling the familiar feeling of disappointment in myself that I can’t stay...

Keep Reading

Look for Contentment Where You Are Today

In: Faith, Living
Family sitting on couch at home

When my husband and I were first married, we rented a run-down place that didn’t cost much. It certainly wasn’t a dream home. Honestly, I was less than thrilled about renting in the first place. I expected that we would buy a house when we got married. That’s what my parents did. That’s what many people I went to high school with were doing. But my husband and I were 21 and 22 when we got married, fresh out of college. We were still waiting for my husband to land his first teaching job, so we weren’t financially ready to...

Keep Reading

All I Could Do Was Make It to Church Today

In: Faith, Motherhood
Close up of man holding baby in his arms in church pew with kids in background

All I can do is make it to church today. It was the final thought that shut the door on all the other thoughts this morning. The thoughts that said I don’t look good enough. I should put on makeup. I should wear something nicer. I should find a way to paint my nails without them getting smudged up from holding a baby before they dry. The thoughts that said I am not doing good enough. I should have made supper last night. I shouldn’t have used that glass pan that shattered in the oven while trying to steam bake...

Keep Reading

It’s Time to Talk about the Crushing Weight of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and three children, color photo

As millennial women and mothers, we have been making waves in the sea of mental health. We have unashamedly and unapologetically shared our postpartum depression and anxiety stories so that future generations won’t feel as though they’re drowning in the weight of it all.  I remember sitting in my living room, staring at my newborn, crying in frustration and fear that I was already failing him.  I remember the pain of trying to use the bathroom for the first time after labor, to have family suddenly stop by, and feeling so embarrassed I screamed and they left, ultimately leaving me...

Keep Reading

Kids Need Grace and So Do Their Moms

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Woman touching child's forehead

We were having a hard morning. Our house was overrun with toys, I hadn’t had a chance to get dressed, and my stress level was increasing by the minute. To top it all off, my 3-year-old was having a meltdown anytime I spoke to her. Even looking in her general direction was a grave mistake. It was one of those days that as a parent, you know you’re really in for it. I was quickly losing my patience. My frustration began to ooze out of me. I snapped orders, stomped around, and my attitude quite clearly was not pleasant to...

Keep Reading

A Mother Doesn’t Have to Be Prepared to Be Sustained

In: Baby, Faith, Motherhood
Mother cuddling baby on a bed

I feel the warmth radiating from my weeks-old baby girl’s body onto my lap. She sleeps soundly. But I can’t. My jaw is clenched, my forehead is wrinkled, my body is tense. I’ve been in complete survival mode. Our baby girl unexpectedly made her appearance one month early due to some placental deficiencies and was born at three and a half pounds. I wasn’t prepared.  When I saw my sweet girl, my heart was instantly taken over by immense love and immense fear. Fear grabbing me with every thought, every breath. I wasn’t prepared.  She spent some time in the NICU but not...

Keep Reading

A Love That Will Never Leave You

In: Faith, Living
Cover art of book Pilgrim by Ruth Chou Simons

My firstborn spent a semester abroad in his junior year of college. Like any mom who’s separated from her child, I knew the exact distance between him and me those months he was away. It felt like a million miles, but it was actually only 4,533, including one very large body of water. While he was away, we weren’t even on the same continent, and truthfully, I hadn’t expected the ache to be so overwhelming. Thankfully, our weekly chats on video eased the sadness and served to remind me that, in spite of miles and time zones, there was no...

Keep Reading

I’ll Always Be the One Who Loved Them First

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Family with three small boys standing in kitchen, color photo

I’m no longer the last person he says goodnight to. That’s a hard pill to swallow. Here we are, just raising these boys, hoping and praying things over their futures, watching them grow, teaching them independence and other life skills, hoping they have heard the things we have said, and praying they make our faith their faith and choose to follow Jesus. And then, just like that, without any warning, without asking my permission, there is someone special in his life. Someone he spends hours on the phone with. Someone he wants to spend his time with. Someone who isn’t...

Keep Reading

Thank You God for Everyday Heroes

In: Faith, Living
Firefighter in gear walking, black-and-white photo

Tonight, our family watched a movie together. It was an action-adventure movie where, against unbelievable odds, the good guy saves the day. At some point during the movie, I turned to my husband, and said, “You’re that guy—the guy that is good in a crisis, who saves the day.” Once, when my husband and I were out for dinner, a woman seated near us fainted and was lying on the floor. The waiters and waitresses ran to her aid but didn’t know what to do. My husband is a firefighter/EMT. He had gone outside to grab a sweater, and when...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, about That Other 4-Letter Word

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Portrait of a beautiful little girl in blue shirt

As my kindergartner came bounding through the door back from the park, she seemed ecstatic to tell me all about her adventure, but what came from her sweet mouth was not the usual tale of making friends or playing make-believe. Instead, she stared up at me and said, “A little boy called me ugly.”  As I tried to assess her thoughts on the matter, her big brother was quickly confirming the story and acknowledging to me that it was not a very nice thing to say. As I looked at my husband coming in the door behind them, I could...

Keep Reading