Shop the fall collection ➔

“Please for the twelfth time, put your socks on!! It’s time for preschool!” I yell.

“But mommy, they don’t feel good,” my four-year-old says.

“Then pick another pair,” I shout, rummaging through her sock drawer. Here or here.” And I pull out a handful of socks.

“But mommy, they don’t feel good,” she repeats, angrier. “I don’t want to wear socks.” 

“But your feet will be cold,” I shoot back.

“But my feet never get cold,” she screams.

For several weeks this painful exchange took place every morning. “Just let her go without socks,” my husband had said, “she’ll get cold and put them on.”

But to no avail, each morning she left for school wearing her Toms. Without socks.

I was out of patience and time—and exasperated. I could feel the tension between us building. The arguing, the shortness in my voice, the before school meltdowns, the crying and yelling.

What at first seemed so ridiculous was now turning into a mountain between us.

It had become a battle of wills, and I was losing every day. Inch by inch the barrier was deepening. The mountain between us was growing. I had to cross over before it became too steep. Before we couldn’t see each other anymore. I was losing the fight and losing the relationship with my daughter.

Help, I cried out to God.

Let it go, whispered in my ear.

But what about cold feet? What about winter? I argued back.

Let it go, whispered in my ear.

But what will her teacher say? What about obeying her mother? What about the judgy little old church ladies who’ll see her without socks?

Let it go, the voice said, louder this time.

And then there it was. My mind was so foggy and focused on my daughter’s actions, I had failed to see my own. But the fog lifted, and it was clear to me then. Why did I need her to wear socks, exactly? To keep her feet warm, right? Yes. But her feet are never cold, right? Yes. So what was the problem?

It was me. There it was staring back at me: pride. It is an ugly trait and one no one is ever happy to see rearing its big head out in the open. It wasn’t ever really about the socks, I realized; it was about me all along. I wanted compliance, obedience. I wanted to be right. I wanted to win. I was the one concerned about the little old church ladies judging my parenting for not dressing my child warmly enough. But my daughter, she didn’t care about any of that.

So right then and there, I conceded. I let it go. I was the one being ridiculous. No item was worth the relationship with my child.

“Oh, sweet one,” I said to my daughter, “please forgive me. I’m sorry we continued to have this same argument over and over. You are what matters most to me, not a silly pair of socks. Can we please start over?”

Her arms squeezed tightly around my neck. “Yes, Mommy. I forgive you. Can we read a story now?”

“Only if we snuggle too,” I said. We giggled and I felt all the tension disappear. The love from a child-so unconditional, so easy, so full of grace.

It has been several months, and my daughter has made it through almost an entire winter without ever wearing a pair of socks. I can honestly say it no longer bothers me, nor do the snide little old lady comments.

I choose to climb over that mountain for a fresh start instead of watching it grow taller. I choose the relationship over my pride. I choose my daughter over the socks.

Besides, warm feet are overrated anyway.

Becca Wenzel

Becca is a former financial journalist turned stay-at-home mom to two girls ages 6 and 4 and one two-year-old wild boy. She lives in the quiet town of Williams Bay, Wisconsin with her husband, children and labrodoodle. She is a lover of running, crafting, coffee, and sunshine. Follow her blog, visit her Facebook page or follow her on Instagram.

The Best Marriage Advice We Ever Got: Touch Feet Every Night

In: Faith, Marriage
Couple touching feet in bed

Twenty-six years ago this summer, I got a tiny piece of advice on my wedding day that has kept me from making a huge mistake time and time again. A wise woman told me, “When you climb in bed each night with your husband, make sure that your feet touch under the covers. It’s hard to be mad at someone and touch feet.”  I had no idea, all those years ago, how impactful this piece of advice would be and how many times in our marriage this would be the small act that kept us united. This simple act of...

Keep Reading

Faith is a Verb, So We Go to Church

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman and teen daughter in church pew

Every Sunday morning we rush out the door bribing, coaxing, and threatening our kids to just “Get into the van!” Luckily, we live remotely rural so we don’t have neighbors to witness our often un-Christlike eye rolls and harsh sighs as we buckle each other up. We’ve always lived within a five-minute drive to a chapel, and yet we are usually there not two minutes before the service starts. Once sitting in our seats, we’re on high alert for noise control and sibling altercations for the next hour of what is supposed to be a peaceful, sacred, spirit-filled service. Which...

Keep Reading

3 Simple Ways to Be a More Confident Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and young child smiling outside

Do you ever ask yourself why you can’t be more like that mom or why can’t your kids be like those kids? The comparison trap is an easy one to fall into if we aren’t careful. At the click of our fingers, we see Pinterest-worthy motherhood in every category. From the mom with the black-belt kids to the mom with Marie Kondo organizing skills—it’s easy to look at their lives and feel like we’ve fallen short. Even worse, is when we start to strive to become something we aren’t or prod our kids to become something they aren’t.  Comparison makes...

Keep Reading

Grief Is Persistent But God Is Faithful

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Woman praying by ocean

The loss of a parent doesn’t just sting, it leaves you with an irreplaceable hole in your heart. It’s been two years since my loving daddy went home to be with Jesus, and the loss I feel is still unimaginable.  I know in my heart he’s in a better place that is absent of pain and distress. However, his physical presence and wisdom are so dearly missed here on this earth.  He left behind an army of a family who adored him and looked to him for solid guidance. No matter how hard I try to look to the bright...

Keep Reading

I Gave up on God but He Never Gave up on Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother hugging son, color photo

I grew up in a religious house. We went to church every Sunday. My mom taught Sunday school, and we participated as a family in most church events. We believed in the power of prayer, hope, faith, love, and forgiveness. As a little girl, I watched my dad kneel at the side of the bed every night and say his prayers. In the last six years, my faith has not been what it should have been. It has plummeted into the depths of nothingness, buried deep below the darkness. I have felt angry and abandoned by God. In response, I...

Keep Reading

I Count My Blessings Every Day

In: Faith
Mom and child by beach

I remember being jealous of my classmates often. I would look at the girls at my school who seemed to be living such a carefree life. They would do well in school effortlessly and go home to their moms, dads, and siblings, to a house they’d grown up in. I wanted that so much for myself! I wanted my mom and dad to be together, and if it wasn’t too much to ask, a sibling or two. I wanted us to live in a house where I could have my own room, but I wouldn’t mind sharing if I had...

Keep Reading

Dear Lord, Make Me a Grace Hunter

In: Faith
Woman with crutches looking out window, black-and-white photo

I want to be known as a grace hunter. Every day, I pray I would be given eyes to see the world in which we live through a lens of grace—a lens that causes me to marvel at the ways of my God and be constantly filled with wonder. I am thankful I have no choice but to live life at a slower pace. I pray for the ability to see the beauty and God’s grace in the seemingly small and insignificant things. RELATED: In the Midst of Grief, There is Grace I pray for eyes to see His grace even...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Follow Your Beautiful Heart

In: Faith, Kids
Mother and daughter smiling

When I held you in my arms for the first time, it was like time stopped. As you looked up at me with innocence and new life, I was struck by the reality that my main role in your life would be to guide and direct you on the right path. I hoped I would do the best job possible. As I watched you grow, I basked in your joy of putting on your pretty dresses, adorned with layers of costume jewelry, parading around the house for your father and me to see. I dreamed often of what path you...

Keep Reading

So God Made Midnight

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and newborn

When God created a mother, He created her to love and serve in every moment. He knew the constant need would sometimes overwhelm her and she would have no choice but to rely on His strength and grace. He knew she would feel like there weren’t enough hours in the day . . . so God made midnight. He knew a mama’s days with a newborn would be busy and sometimes chaotic. He knew she would be distracted by meeting needs and attempting to find balance—that sneaking in a hot shower would become almost a luxury . . . so...

Keep Reading

Lord, I Don’t Want To Face This Storm

In: Faith
Rain cloud over a lake, color photo

“I feel like I’m right in the middle of that rain shaft, suspended over the ocean,” I told my husband as we waited out a Florida afternoon rain on our hotel balcony. “There’s light and beauty all around me, but I feel like I’m just lost in that storm.”  Just two nights before, we awoke to the cries of our 11-year-old son, the pain in his right lower abdomen so great that he woke up from a deep sleep. Our vacation took a solemn turn as my husband loaded him up in our rental car and drove to a children’s...

Keep Reading