I saw her text and froze:

“Mom, stop meddling.”

Ouch! My daughter was right. I meddled, and I got caught! I ran interference for her and she didn’t like it. I could protest: “I just want her to be encouraged. I just want her to grow up in Jesus. I just want her to make a wise decision.”

Did it work? Uh, no. In fact, it did the opposite. Yes, I have wisdom to offer; so do you. We don’t have these gray hairs for nothing. But when I meddle, my kids are much less apt to ask me for counsel and wrinkly-proved wisdom.

Moms meddle. It’s part of our DNA. I know I do so far more often than I get caught (Praising God for small mercies).

I hated it when I caught my mom meddling. So why am I tempted to interfere? Let’s face it: we do it for love. Moms are fiercely protective. God made us this way. Also, aren’t we smarter and wiser than our emerging semi-adult children? Don’t they need us to run interference to keep them from the muddy pitfalls we fell into and lived to tell about?

No. They don’t. Instead they need us to share our stories of our failures and the stupid mistakes we made and pray to God they remember: “Don’t do what Mom did—I will regret it!” Humble storytelling goes a lot further than a well-intended lecture.

Meddling for love and for protection isn’t a good enough reason. My kids need to see that I am trusting God for their lives. When I worry out loud or try to over protect, I’m not showing them that God can be depended upon. The older our kids get, the less they want our control. Meddling is a form of control, and from my vast experience, it doesn’t work.

What’s a mom to do when desperate to reach out and break a grown child’s fall?

We don’t meddle, we pray and ask God to do the meddling.

I love this quote from Hudson Taylor: “Learn to move men by God through prayer alone.”

Really? Prayer alone? I just pray? That’s it? Maybe he only meant “men”. I have three daughters. (What was God thinking?)

God teaches me more about faith and trust in His love and power the longer I’m a parent. As I view my kid’s progress of maturity and faith, God is working the same progress in me: “Well, well, I see that Sue is finally letting go of her control of her children—in process, anyway!”

Yes, Lord, I’m in process. I want to show my girls that You are worth trusting.

When my girls were small, I thought it was difficult to be a mom. In each new stage, I had to learn to trust God with their welfare. Now as a mother of semi-adult children (22, 26, 29)—OK completely-adult children—now I realize I’m in a new, harder stage: the stage of keeping my mouth shut and my knees in place, kneeling regularly at the feet of Jesus and asking Him to meddle like crazy!

There’s a certain joy and peace in it all, especially when I keep my “hands to myself” (as I used to teach them). I’ve done my best. God’s got the rest. And when I’m tempted to interfere, I’ll remember these words in Isaiah 40:11.

He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. NLT

He leads His lambs. The mother lamb and not-so-baby lambs.

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

Sue Moore Donaldson

Sue Moore Donaldson speaks and writes to introduce God’s welcoming heart—inviting you to know the Ultimate Host and pass on His invitation. She and her husband Mark live on the Central Coast of California and have raised three semi-adult daughters (which means she’s always at the bank or on her knees). Sue blogs at http://welcomeheart.com/sue-donaldson, and is a frequent speaker for women’s events. You may view speaking topics at: http://welcomeheart.com/speaking.

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