Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

My husband and I marvel at the vast personality differences in our four children. One boy is responsible and quiet. Another is brilliant and tech-y. The baby girl is dramatic and fun. And tucked into the middle is a boy who is energetic and athletic.

And very sensitive.

Soul sensitive.

Once, in an intense season of overwhelm, he found me before bed.

“Mom?” he asked tentatively. He wrapped his arms around my waist and I stiffened. It took everything in me not to pull away.

“I just want to sit with you and hug you and never let go. Because you seem so lonely.”

And I was undone because … how did he know?

In the hiddenness of motherhood, I had pushed my children and husband away with days of silence, using my selfishness as a catalyst for relational isolation. What child risks the clothesline shutdown of trying to talk to angry-mom? When she’s trying to get ready for bed??

The sensitive kind.

Because it takes courage to be so.

His sensitivity is raw and unrefined as of yet. I treasure the times it presents itself in such life-giving ways. But, as with any personality gifting, a maturing has to happen to make a child able to walk in their gifting in ways that glorify God and bless the body of Christ, because the flip-side weakness of any gift is always available for cultivation as well.

In a great cultural pendulum swing, we seem to be moving away from our grandparent’s dismissive attitude toward “all the feels” and heading toward the landslide that is “Feelings ARE Truth”.
In the past we may have been obsessed with our outward behavior to the neglect of our heart, but now we are encouraged to access and collect many feelings and use them to define who we are. They need not be based on any truth outside of ourselves, because individual truth is infallible. I say this to our shame, for this approach to relationships is equally as isolating and destructive as pretending we have no feelings.

My husband and I desire to raise our ultra-sensitive child to embrace his gift, yet not be consumed with the life offenses that could render it ineffective. To that end all of our children are encouraged to speak their emotions respectfully, knowing that our home is a safe place to just BE. We want feelings to be exactly what they are: just feelings. A flag signaling something deeper.

Some feelings and emotions get to sit longer at the table. Others are heard, recognized and then dismissed because they either: promote self-pity and wallowing (*ahem* preaching to myself), or they simply are toxic and untrue and need not be allowed to stay a minute longer.

This is not about always being happy, nor am I a fan of the “obey all the time, right away, with a cheerful heart” policy. There is room for those discouraged, irritable times.

But danger creeps in when children are allowed to wield their emotions like a sword to keep grace and truth and humility at bay.

They need to know they are more than their self-absorbed feelings; that Christ is stronger than their unstable emotions. 

How empowering for them to know that in Him we CAN have self-control, are ABLE to respond with kindness, are STRONG enough to be gentle and BRAVE enough to do hard things!

This truth is for all ages! But why start when we move out of our parent’s house?

As fellow traffic controllers for all the possible emotional collisions of the household, I encourage you to speak the truth boldly and with authority. Avoid the lie that kindness equals unchallenged acceptance. See and acknowledge the seeds of maturity in your children but do not allow them to live their pre-adult lives without your instruction.

Celebrate victory no matter how small. Encourage the little saplings in your home, thankful that you get to see the micro-growth and pray their roots into yet deeper soil.

It is that simple.

And that hard.

This is our calling; it is hearty and worth the effort.

“Mommy? I wrote this for you,” he smiled his seven-year-old gap-toothed smile and slipped me a ragged edge of notebook paper that said simply, “mommy i love you. you or lovle.”

More than a sweet note, those words laid me bare in that moment. The day had been long with three boys and a nursing baby. I couldn’t wait for it to end so I could wrap myself in comforting guilt and sleep away the few hours I had until the midnight feeding. Caught between the crushing weight of responsibility and the acute awareness that I wasn’t strong enough, I had reacted in anger to that trapped feeling; my harsh tone all but accusing my children of putting me there.

I was not lovely. I was not loveable.

But God gave my little boy eyes to see the conflict in me rather than the ugly anger.

Through my son, He reminded me that He is the God who “gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they are.” Romans 4:17

Grace to you, mama.

You are lovely.

And you are so loved.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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

Order Now

Sara Frank

My name is Sara Frank.  I am a stay-at-home mom of four in a small town in Nebraska. I love good coffee and look forward to that quiet glass of wine with my husband after all the kids go to bed. Find me on Facebook at Frankly, Sara

Your Husband Needs Friendship Too

In: Faith, Friendship, Marriage
3 men smiling outside

As the clock inches closer to 7:00 on a Monday evening, I pull out whatever dessert I had prepared that week and set it out on the kitchen counter. This particular week it’s a trifle, but other weeks it may be brownies, pound cake, or cookies of some kind. My eyes do one last sweep to make sure there isn’t a tripping hazard disguised as a dog toy on the floor and that the leftover dinner is put away. Then, my kids and I make ourselves scarce. Sometimes that involves library runs or gym visits, but it mostly looks like...

Keep Reading

This Is Why Moms Ask for Experience Gifts

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Mother and young daughter under Christmas lights wearing red sweaters

When a mama asks for experience gifts for her kids for Christmas, please don’t take it as she’s ungrateful or a Scrooge. She appreciates the love her children get, she really does. But she’s tired. She’s tired of the endless number of toys that sit in the bottom of a toy bin and never see the light of day. She’s tired of tripping over the hundreds of LEGOs and reminding her son to pick them up so the baby doesn’t find them and choke. She’s tired of having four Elsa dolls (we have baby Elsa, Barbie Elsa, a mini Elsa,...

Keep Reading

When You Just Don’t Feel Like Christmas

In: Faith, Living
Woman sad looking out a winter window

It’s hard to admit, but some years I have to force myself to decorate for Christmas. Some years the lights look a little dimmer. The garlands feel a bit heavier. And the circumstances of life just aren’t wrapped in a big red bow like I so wish they were. Then comparison creeps in like a fake Facebook friend and I just feel like hiding under the covers and skipping it all. Because I know there’s no way to measure up to the perfect life “out there.” And it all just feels heavier than it used to. Though I feel alone,...

Keep Reading

When Your Kids Ask, “Where Is God?”

In: Faith, Kids
Child looking at sunset

How do I know if the voice I’m hearing is God’s voice? When I was in high school, I found myself asking this question. My dad was a pastor, and I was feeling called to ministry. I didn’t know if I was just hearing my dad’s wish or the call of God. I was worried I was confusing the two. It turns out, I did know. I knew because I was raised to recognize the presence of God all around me. Once I knew what God’s presence felt like, I also knew what God’s voice sounded like. There is a...

Keep Reading

To the Woman Longing to Become a Mother

In: Faith, Grief, Motherhood
Woman looking at pregnancy test with hand on her head and sad expression

To the woman who is struggling with infertility. To the woman who is staring at another pregnancy test with your flashlight or holding it up in the light, praying so hard that there will be even the faintest line. To the woman whose period showed up right on time. To the woman who is just ready to quit. I don’t know the details of your story. I don’t know what doctors have told you. I don’t know how long you have been trying. I don’t know how many tears you have shed. I don’t know if you have lost a...

Keep Reading

I Was There to Walk My Mother to Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Hand holding older woman's hand

I prayed to see my momma die. Please don’t click away yet or judge me harshly after five seconds. I prayed to see, to experience, to be in the room, to be a part of every last millisecond of my momma’s final days, final hours, and final moments here on Earth. You see, as a wife of a military man, I have always lived away from my family. I have missed many birthdays, celebrations, dinners, and important things. But my heart couldn’t miss this important moment. I live 12 hours away from the room in the house where my momma...

Keep Reading

God Sent Me to You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Newborn gazing at mother with father smiling down

I was a little unsure As I left God’s warm embrace: What will it be like? What challenges will I face? There were so many questions Running through my mind. I asked around for the answers I was hoping to find. Who will hold me And cuddle me tight? Who will rock me To sleep at night? RELATED: The Newborn Nights Feel As Endless As My Love For You Who will comfort me When I’ve had a rough day? Who will be there To take my worries away? Who will nourish me And make sure I grow? Who will read...

Keep Reading

Addiction Doesn’t Get the Final Say Over My Son

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman praying with head bowed

She is so tired. It is a kind of tired that no amount of sleep or rest can alleviate. It is a kind of tired that surpasses physical and even mental fatigue. It is a tiredness of soul—a tiredness that comes from wondering, and grieving, and not knowing how to save her son from the drugs the enemy has bound him up in. She kneels alone on the floor in her bedroom closet. This is where she came when the fear and the uncertainty and the panic started to creep into her heart again. She came here to pray, though...

Keep Reading

I Want to Be a Praying Mama

In: Faith, Motherhood
Dirt road at dusk

I want to be that praying mama. The one who stops on the side of the road when the time seems fit, just to take those few short, undistracted moments to lift my kids up to God. I want to be that praying mama. The one who prays while she drives down the road to schools and lifts each one up as they exit the car for the start of their day. RELATED: Praying For Your Kids is Holy Work of Motherhood I want to be that praying mama. The one who does it so much that the youngest doesn’t...

Keep Reading

Blessed Are Those Who Can’t Even

In: Faith, Living
Woman rubbing temples with hands, color photo

We argued about an orange last night after dinner. Not even a large orange. A tiny mandarin. As emotions escalated between my beloved husband and me, the eldest child graciously removed herself from the table and donned noise-canceling headphones while the smallest child openly snickered and was dispatched to her room to play while we hashed things out in “peace.” I’d love to say that was the most insane thing we’ve ever argued about, but that would be a lie. My kids love to remind us about the breadstick incident a few years back. Life has been a bit overwhelming...

Keep Reading