My son has always had a wonderful sense of humor. It started before he could even talk. It seemed that he was always doing something to make us laugh.When he was about a year old, we started putting him in a playpen while we were having our family Bible time. The playpen had mesh netting for sides. We would sit with our 4-year-old on the couch and Caleb would pull himself up in the playpen and smash his face up against the netting. Then he would move his face up and down and his face looked so funny. We would all end up laughing our way through Bible time!

He has always been the life of the party, and lives life “outside of the box.” Not in a rebellious way, he is comfortable in his own skin and refuses to conform to what others say he should be. I love that about him. I never have to wonder where he stands on anything. He just tells it like it is.

Unfortunately, there were a few years that I didn’t see this as a good thing. I listened to well meaning voices around me that told me what he should act like, look like, and talk like. Many of the little boys around him were dressed “just so,” and sat still in church at very young ages.

There was one person who told me that my son was “foolish.” Being a young mom and desiring that my son be what he should be, I listened and began my mission of trying to make my son behave the way others said he should behave, and sadly and I began to stifle who he was. I was unable to see what a gifted young man he was, because I was so busy comparing him to what others said he should be.

Through a number of circumstances, God opened my eyes to what I was doing and helped me to see the young man he had made my son to be. I began to understand that this young man was in a process of growth, and that his heart attitude was what most important…not his performance!

Proverbs 17:22 “A joyful heart is good medicine…”

God changed how I viewed my son. I no longer saw him as foolish…but as funny. I was able to accept him for how he has been “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Uniquely created! His personality is an amazing gift and has brought so much life into our home. I was finally able to walk along side him in his process of growth and guide him, rather than constantly correcting him, pushing him to be something he wasn’t made to be.

Some might see his untucked shirt, that he likes to joke around, and that he does not fit a particular mold. They may not think he measures up to what they think the standard should be. But that doesn’t matter to me anymore. I see the person God has made him to be, have seen so much growth, and can truly celebrate who he is!

Yes, he has some foolishness in his heart. We all do! And there are times we have had to remind him that he needs to tame some of his silliness. But he is 23 years old. He is growing. He is not characterized as being foolish. He is a very submissive, tender young man.

If I could do it over, I would have looked to God more, and not to people and their opinions. I would have gotten to know my son for who he is, and not tried to hold him up to a standard that someone decided looked good!

I am so thankful that God opened my eyes, changed ME, and that my son and I have a good relationship now. It’s is so much more enjoyable, and he really does make me laugh. He has helped me to loosen up and not take things so seriously, and has added a fun dimension to our family. He has also helped me to be comfortable being who God made ME to be.

I am challenged by his consistency. He is himself where ever he goes. I love that about him. God really knew what he was doing when he put Caleb into our family. I have learned so much from him!It’s important that we get to know our children as individuals and encourage them to be who God made them to be. It’s one of the best gifts we will ever give them! I am so thankful that God brought me to my senses before it was too late! He is so merciful!

6 ways to encourage your children to be who God made them to be:

  1. Regularly point out that God has made them with amazing gifts and abilities.
  2. Tell them that the gifts and abilities they have been given can be used for God’s glory. (Even a wonderful sense of humor!)
  3. Strive to point out evidence of God’s grace in their lives, and tell the when you see God working in them.
  4. If you feel led to bring something to their attention that they might need to work on, make sure they understand that we are all in a process of growth, and we are all working on things in our lives. We don’t want to leave them discouraged or feeling overwhelmed.
  5. Accept them for who they are, for how God has made them, and communicate that to them. (Ask for forgiveness when you fail to do this!)
  6. AND…Tell them that you love them, and you like them!
So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Gina Smith

Gina is a writer and blogger, wife for 29 years and mom to two grown children, ages 23 and 26. She and her husband have been in ministry to college students and young couples for over 20 years, while living and raising their children on a college campus. She writes with the purpose of coming along side and encouraging women, helping them to see that there is grace given to persevere through any and all seasons. She is the author of you can find her at her blog "Grace For This Season -

God Redeemed the Broken Parts of My Infertility Story

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two young children walking on a path near a pond, color photo

It was a Wednesday morning when I sat around a table with a group of mamas I had just recently met. My youngest daughter slept her morning nap in a carrier across my chest. Those of us in the group who held floppy babies swayed back and forth. The others had children in childcare or enrolled in preschool down the road. We were there to chat, learn, grow, and laugh. We were all mamas. But we were not all the same. I didn’t know one of the mom’s names, but I knew I wanted to get to know her because she...

Keep Reading

God Has You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman hugging herself while looking to the side

Holding tight to the cold, sterile rail of the narrow, rollaway ER bed, I hovered helplessly over my oldest daughter. My anxious eyes bounced from her now steadying breaths to the varying lines and tones of the monitor overhead. Audible reminders of her life that may have just been spared. For 14 years, we’d been told anaphylaxis was possible if she ingested peanuts. But it wasn’t until this recent late autumn evening we would experience the fear and frenzy of our apparent new reality. My frantic heart hadn’t stopped racing from the very moment she struggled to catch a breath....

Keep Reading

My Husband Having a Stroke at 30 Wasn’t in Our Plans

In: Faith, Living
Husband and wife, selfie, color photo

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) This verse in the book of Jeremiah has long been a favorite of mine. In fact, it’s felt relevant across many life events. Its simple, yet powerful reminder has been a place of solace, perhaps even a way to maintain equilibrium when I’ve felt my world spinning a bit out of control. In this season of starting fresh and new year intentions, I find great comfort in knowing...

Keep Reading

She Left Him on Valentine’s Day

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband kissing wife on cheek, color photo

“Can you believe that?” Those were the dreaded knife-cutting whispers I heard from across the table. I sunk deeper into my chair. My hopes fell as everyone would forever remember that I had left my fiancée on Valentine’s Day. Maybe one day it would just dissipate like the dream wedding I had planned or the canceled plane tickets for the Hawaiian honeymoon. Some bridesmaids and guests had already booked plane tickets. It was my own nightmare that kept replaying in my head over and over again. I had messed up. Big time. To be honest, if it made any difference,...

Keep Reading

God was In the Room for Our Daughter’s Open Heart Surgery

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child's hand with IV

I’ve had a strong faith for as long as I can remember, but I always felt bad that I never had a “testimony.” I had never gone through something that made me sit back and say, “Wow, God is real, He is here.” I have always felt it to my core, but no moment had ever stopped me dead in my tracks to where there was no denying that it was God. And then, that moment happened to me on December 5. After five months of fervently praying for a miracle for our daughter, the day came for her heart...

Keep Reading

A Benediction for the Worn Out Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman leaning against kitchen counter, black-and-white photo

Blessed are you, Father, for bestowing upon me the honor of motherhood. For allowing me to experience the deep joy of bringing forth life—a joy I often take for granted and instead choose to begrudge. My children’s cries and demands have worn me down. I do not recognize myself. I selfishly long for the old me. My thoughts are an intangible mess of never-ending tasks, self-criticism, and comparison to those around me. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama But Your word says you are near to the broken-hearted and downtrodden. You do not forget the cause of the tired and the...

Keep Reading

God Doesn’t Forget You When You’re Lost and Unsure

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking into camera, color photo

I’ve been wandering around feeling lost for over a year. Wondering where I’m going, what I’m supposed to be doing. Nothing seems to make sense. I felt purposeless. I felt stuck. I questioned everything: my faith, my marriage, my career—if it could be questioned, I doubted it. And I was completely clueless how to fix the funk. For over a year, I’ve been in the wilderness. I’ve wanted to find my way, but every path seemed like another dead end. The wilderness. I’ve been residing there. Not feeling fed. Not feeling heard. Not feeling seen. Struggling to find a purpose....

Keep Reading

And Then, the Darkness Lifts

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother with baby smiling

Today when I woke, it had lifted, like sunshine peeking after rain. And as my toddler clicked on the lamp beside my bed to see her mama, I saw me too. I got out of bed and I walked down the hall. And the coffee pot sat there waiting for me, as always, like my husband at the kitchen table with his books. He smiled at me, and I think he could tell as I took my medicine, took down a mug, and poured my coffee. I opened the secretary desk and pulled out the chair and my Bible, like...

Keep Reading

Joy in This Stillness

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding sleeping toddler, color photo

I woke up suddenly in a sweat while it was still dark. Except for the humming of the oxygen machine, the house was silent. For a moment, I thought I might have time to enjoy a cup of coffee before my son woke up. However, a glance at my daughter’s crib told me that feeding my caffeine addiction would have to wait. My daughter has a terminal brain disorder called Lissencephaly, a side effect of which is uncontrolled epilepsy. Many mornings, a subconscious recognition that she is having episodes of repeated seizures rouses me from my sleep. Throwing on a...

Keep Reading

Sometimes All We Can Do Is Say How Hard Motherhood Is

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom with baby in foreground

I have been sitting in the peace and quiet of the office to do some long overdue Bible study for all of five minutes when the baby wakes up. With a heavy sigh that is becoming all too common, I go to the bedroom to pick up my fussy, probably getting sick, 8-month-old daughter who has been asleep for approximately 15 minutes. I bring her to the office and put her on the floor with some new books and toys. Sitting back down in front of my own new book of Bible maps and charts, I begin reading once again....

Keep Reading