Not too long ago my 4-year-old son walked into the Sunday School class you faithfully teach every Sunday with a pouty face, chin tucked into his chest, and unhappy to be at church. Yet, you scooped him up in your arms and said, “Come on, Will. We’re going to have fun.”

You loved him in spite of his struggles and took the load off my shoulders. You could see the anxiety and concern on my face, too. This happened for weeks on end and you never gave up on him.

You’ve not only loved him, but you’ve loved my three other kids with your hugs and genuine affection. You’ve taught them the Bible, fed their bellies, and helped them grow.

You’ve sent me encouraging Facebook posts telling me I would get through the hard times. You’ve never judged me as a mom based on my kids’ unpredictable behavior or my own struggles with control and anxiety.

You’ve reassured me when you said, “Oh I remember those days like they were yesterday.” Your personal stories have given me hope and inspiration.

Seasoned mama, thank you for loving mamas like me with young children by just being there as a support and listening ear. Thank you for treating my children the same when they’re obedient and when they’re unlovely.

You’ve shown me and my kids love not only through your words but your actions.

You never once criticized, pointed a finger, or told me how to fix anything, but you just listened, related, and came along side me as a friend and fellow mom.

When you put a goodie basket in my trunk the other day, my heart overflowed with gratitude. You thought of my kids and there’s no greater way to a mama’s heart than to spoil her kids with good things that make them smile.

In the basket, you placed four miniature sized coffee cups with “love sayings” on them, caramel flavored Keurig K cups, and their own can of whipped cream with their name written on it. That gift was just another reminder of all the sweetness and goodness you’ve shown us these past few years.

When my kids are teenagers and packing their bags for college as your oldest did last year, I’ll remember to live in an understanding and patient way toward other moms with young children as you have toward me.

Thank you for loving us when it’s messy and when it’s been so beautiful. Thank you for not only teaching my children about Jesus but for showing them his love in tangible ways they’ll remember when they’re older.

Your unconditional love towards me and my kids has changed me and I’m forever grateful for you.

Oh, and those cans of whipped cream? You better believe they tilted their heads back and squeezed as much of that sugar as they possibly could straight into their little mouths!

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Samantha Krieger

Samantha Krieger is a pastor's wife and mom to four children, nine and under. She's the author of Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. She writes from rural Colorado and enjoys connecting with readers on her personal blogFacebook and Instagram.