So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

“This little light of mine,” her little finger stood as tall as a 2-year-old’s little finger could. Held out in front of her, the little candle signaled light, joy, and all things sweet and pure.

So much darkness little one, I thought. My little finger of light tilted to tap hers. There is so much darkness in the world. 

Her breath came, a puff of cheek-blown, lip-puckered wind against my nose.

“Don’t let Satan blow it out,” she shook her head, white strands against translucent skin. They stuck like streaks against her cheek. A wisp caught on a thick fringe of eyelash.

She was the little one without fear, the girl who asked, “Do you know Jesus?” to strangers in the grocery store line and spoke “Jesus loves you,” to the cars in the parking lot. She was the move over Billy Graham child of heart-melting evangelism. She was the child of, “I’m gonna let it shine,” and, “Don’t let Satan blow it out,” all meshed together. 

Her little finger held high, with its pretend flame circling around the world, would eventually face heartache and anguish. 

She became the child of growing pains, tween insecurity, and college doubts. When life danced again with joy and smiled benignly, she would be the child faced with unimaginable testing. 

“Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

RELATED: Am I Seeking God Enough in the Daylight to Find Him in the Dark?

Until in a dark hospital room with two babies of her own, her world broke, and the chasm of unbelief opened its gaping mouth. When all she could do was mouth the word why with eyes big as saucers, life and faith teetered on a line.

Even there, dear child. Even on the cusp of eternity, that little light shone. It pinpointed—on the darkest days of our lives—where our eyes must turn and who to hold. It held its tiny flame for two little girls who needed a mommy who loved Jesus even when life hung on a thread.

And though Satan did his best to blow the wavering flame out, Jesus had already won the victory.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15).

Her brain stem mass retreated slightly. Pieces of her paralyzed body, like lost puzzle pieces, fit and moved again. She remembered her husband and daughters. She knew her mom and dad. The girl we lost in a Netherland fog of illness and medications began to wake up. We caught glimpses of her again, and we wept to find her still in there. We begged God all over again to bring her back.

RELATED: Father, Do You See Me?

But a new shadow cast itself on the light growing brighter. Her miracle stopped half-way. Healing halted.

Faith tested in a furnace month upon month, begging for a bigger miracle than restored physical health.

It pleaded for light still bright in spite of crippling devastation, for light to overcome in darkness. 

“Am I not working hard enough?” she asked when muscles barely moved and speech whispered, difficult to understand. “Is that why I can’t walk? I should have tried more, worked harder?”

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Her little light still shines in a big world of dark.

Dear daughter, you are a victor not because you work hard for each movement you make or because life is tough, but because Jesus, Light of the world, lights your world. When darkness closes around, He goes to battle.

I wish I could take it for a season—your life, your hardship. I would change seats and sit in your power chair. I would watch you handle the chores of motherhood and house, from your vantage point, but I can’t.

RELATED: Grown Kids Still Need a Mother’s Love

This candle is yours to hold. When the battle is overwhelming, strike the match again, look to the True Light.

Dear mommies, with your little ones so sweet and pure, Jesus is your light. Teach them with all you have to hold their little candle high. Only God knows how big the flame may need to be someday. 

Sing it loud together, “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

Sylvia Schroeder

Sylvia Schroeder serves as Women’s Care Coordinator at Avant Ministries. Mom to four, grandma to 13, and wife to her one and only love, she enjoys writing about all of them. Find her blog at When the House is Quiet. Like her Facebook page or follow her on twitter.

Jesus Meets Me in Motherhood With His No Matter What Love

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother embracing daughter in sunlit room

My toddler was that kid on the playground—the one who would push and bite, erupting into a tantrum and needing to be carried home screaming. As I would carry my child to the car, the other moms looked at me with sympathy, confusion, fear, and . . . judgment.  Parents of challenging kids know this look well. We see judgment everywhere we go. I knew others were judging me, and I knew our challenges were beyond the normal bell curve, but as an overwhelmed young mom, I did all I knew to do: I blamed myself.  At my lowest, I...

Keep Reading

Dear Child, God Sees All of You—And So Do I

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mom and young son painting together

Math has always come easily to him. Even from the beginning stages when we counted wooden blocks on the living room floor, the numbers just came to him. “How many blocks are there?” I asked him, pointing to the scattered row of blocks. I expected him to count them. He was only three or four years old. “Six,” he answered promptly. “Yes . . . but how did you know that?” I asked hesitantly. He had not taken the time necessary to have counted them. “Three and three are six,” he replied. And on it went. The math came easily,...

Keep Reading

Dear Girl, Give Jesus Your Mess

In: Faith, Living
Woman holding Bible, color photo

Oh, dear girl, Give Jesus the mess. Your mess. The mess you think is too much or too big or too unbearable. The depths of the mess. The very worst of the mess. Lay it at His feet. He knew you long before the mess existed. Nobody knows your mess like Jesus. I assure you—this will not catch Him by surprise. Even when you do not understand, even when it is most difficult, even when you have your head buried in your hands. Praise Him, for God wastes nothing.  Even when it feels like opposition is coming at you from...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Love Is an Endless Pursuit

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child on bike, color photo

I look at him and my heart breaks into a million little pieces. It simply hurts too much to know he hurts. He is my heart, and it squeezes and revolts when he struggles. I want to close my eyes and hold him close, and when I resurface, I want the world to be different for him. Look different, smell different, taste different. But, it remains the same, this pain.   In the beginning, when he was in my womb, I held my hands on my stomach and his tiny feet kicked me back. His bodily imprint on my skin. He...

Keep Reading

Motherhood Brings Me to the Floor and Jesus Meets Me There

In: Faith, Motherhood

I recently came across a short memoir writing competition with the theme, “Places that have made me, changed me, or inspired me.” I could write something for that, I thought. I’m by no means a jet-setter, but I do have a passport. I spent my 16th birthday in Russia on a three-week mission trip. During college, I lived in Thessaloniki, Greece for a four-month study abroad program. After my British husband and I got married, we settled in the UK, where we’ve spent the last 10 years. And now, I’m back in my sunny Florida hometown. These experiences and places...

Keep Reading

I Will Be a Friend Who Prays

In: Faith, Friendship, Living

You mentioned it casually. They had found a lump in your breast again. You’ve been here before, and maybe that means you better know how to navigate it. Except how can we possibly know how to handle such things? What emotions lie hidden behind your words? You tossed out words like lumpectomy and biopsy as if you were sharing a grocery list. I don’t know you well yet, but as you spoke the words, I had a deep desire to let you know I’m sorry. Seated around the table that night, you asked us to pray for you. I committed...

Keep Reading

I Wish I Could Tell You There Will Be No More Mean Girls

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and two daughters, color photo

Tonight before bed while I was tucking you in, you seemed really down. You are normally bubbly, talkative, full of laughter and life, but tonight you seemed sullen and sad. I asked what was wrong, and at first, you didn’t want to tell me. But then you shared with me what was breaking your heart. You told me about a mean girl. You told me the hurtful things she said and the unkind way she acted and the sneaky way mean girls bully by making you feel left out and less than.  It made me sad and angry. I didn’t...

Keep Reading

In the Hardest Moments of Motherhood, I’m Reminded to Look Up

In: Faith, Motherhood

It’s 3:00 in the afternoon, and you know the scene—I step on a tiny Barbie shoe as I’m walking to the sink. I shove it to the side with my foot and release a heavy sigh. I momentarily think about picking it up, but my back is aching from bending down to gather up treasures all morning. I place my half-filled coffee cup into the microwave to re-heat it for a second time. I need just an ounce of energy to get through the afternoon. My daughter heaves another basket of toys up from the basement, step by step. I can...

Keep Reading

Sometimes God’s Glory Shines Brightest in the Hardest Parts of Life

In: Faith, Living
Woman's hand with chipped nail polish

Half of the fingernails on my hands still show remnants of nail polish. It looks pretty awful. People might notice it and think, Really? You can’t take just five minutes to wipe off the chunks of color that haven’t flaked off already?  And I could. It probably wouldn’t even take five minutes. It’s not that I don’t have the time or that I’m being lazy. I just don’t want to.  You see, my daughter painted my nails almost a month ago. She’s five—they were never pretty to start with. They were sloppy with small strips at the edges left unpainted....

Keep Reading

God Tasked Us With Raising Beautiful People in a Fallen World

In: Faith, Motherhood

Today, I watched my little boy put an oven mitt over his hand and mix up an imaginary meal. Like any mother would be, I was touched to see my son enjoying himself—playing fearlessly in the Children’s Museum and exploring with many fun and creative toys. He would open the wooden fridge and purposely put a spatula in a specific compartment. Though his reasoning was not known to me—or anyone else for that matter—you could tell he had a plan for that metal spatula, and it was to be in that freezer. RELATED: The Secret No One Told Me About...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids


Proven techniques to build REAL connections