Shop the fall collection ➔

The prelude music filled the sanctuary, and the congregation stood to sing. A little hand tugged on my arm, and I glanced down to see the my five-year old daughter’s blonde braids swinging from side to side as she bounced from one foot to the other. She motioned for me to lean down so she could whisper in my ear.

I started to give her the mom-eye– you know the one that admonishes your child to be quiet and behave. After all, the church service had barely started, and I didn’t want my child to be the one being disruptive. But that small, quiet voice within me whispered, “Listen to what she has to say.”

I crouched down and looked her in the eye, and she blurted out in a loud whisper, “Mommy, will you hold me? You don’t have to hold my brothers today since they are in the nursery with Miss Sherry. Will you just hold me, please?”

How that plea tugged on my heart strings! You see, I don’t hold her a whole lot unless it’s for stories on my lap or if she has an owie. She has two little brothers, a three-year-old and a just turned one-year-old so my arms and my lap are usually occupied by one of them. Most Sundays all of our children join us in the sanctuary for the beginning of the church service because we enjoy worshipping as a family and want our children to be a part of corporate worship. But for some reason this Sunday I had left the two boys in the nursery after Sunday school so it was just my husband, daughter, and me in the row.

“Mommy, will you just hold me?” Such a simple request with such longing behind it. I didn’t hesitate for a second. I swooped her up and held her tight.

As I held her, that other voice started to pipe up. This time it was the nagging voice of the enemy. “She’s five, what are the other people going to think when you hold her?”

“She’s getting so tall and lanky that it’s not very comfortable to hold her.”

“Don’t hold her too long, or your back pain will flare up.”

It would have been so easy to entertain those thoughts and put her down, but instead, I shoved them right out of my head and focused on the moment—that precious moment when my daughter wanted me to hold her and to let her be little. And there we stood while the music played, and the people sang. I held her the whole time right where I could feel her breath on my cheek and hear her sweet voice singing along to the familiar songs and making up words to the ones she didn’t know. And I loved every minute of it.

In those moments as we swayed together to the music, the reality that she is almost a big kid slapped me in the face. Before long, she will be too big to hold or at least old enough she doesn’t want me to hold her in church. Soon, these years of full arms will be over. These moments are so fleeting.

As the music slowed for prayer time, I hugged her a little closer and whispered my own prayer. I thanked God for the gift of my daughter and her special request. I prayed for the eyes to see my children in the stage they are in instead of always looking ahead. I prayed for reminders to hold them close and to let them be little. I prayed for grace to cover my failings and strength to be the mom they need.

“Mommy, will you hold me?” Those five little words blurted out in a loud whisper were the reminder my heart needed to remember to love my children right where they are. And that is exactly what I intend to do. So if you happen to see me out and about with my children, there is a good chance I will be holding one of them. After all, this time is short, and I plan to make the most of it.

Amy Juett

Amy is a child of God and a native of the Nebraska Sandhills. She married her sweetheart while still in college. After moving seven times in their first eight years of marriage, they have (God-willing) moved for the last time and are putting down roots in her grandparents’ home only two miles from where she grew up. Her days are filled with all the joys and challenges that come with a house full of young children. When she isn’t immersed in piles of laundry and other messes young children make, Amy enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, doing crafty projects, reading, writing, dabbling in photography, participating in the family adventures her husband dreams up, and sitting in silence.

Our Friend Steve Is Back! Get Ready for the “Blue’s Clues” Live-Action Movie

In: Kids, Living
man in a trench coat and green tie looking out door

We just got a letter, we just got a letter! Except this time, it’s even better! ’90s kids rejoice, because one of our favorite classic Nickelodeon series, Blue’s Clues, is getting a live-action makeover. Not only that, but it will also feature all three of the show’s hosts, which means our beloved Steve Burns will be returning to the screen after all this time! You may remember, Steve popping back into our lives unexpectedly last year for the 25th anniversary of the show to explain why he had departed so suddenly. He hit us all in the feels when he...

Keep Reading

Dear School Bus Driver, My Whole World Is In Your Care

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy standing on school bus stairs, color photo

To the bus driver I do not know, You don’t understand how hard it is to let go of my child’s hand in the morning and hand him over to you. You don’t know how long it took me to make this decision . . . to let him ride the bus.  Some may say it’s brave or courageous to trust another with your child’s life. I sometimes think it can be daring but also really unwise.  RELATED: Every Time I Leave My Child With Autism in the Care of Someone Else, I Worry In today’s world, we must worry...

Keep Reading

Every Time I Blinked, They Grew—and It Was So Beautiful

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boys kissing mother black and white photo

I thought we were prepared, but we weren’t. Not even close. Not in the tiniest, least little bit. When we hugged our precious, oldest boy and left him to start college just a few hours away, we didn’t know what was coming. The waves of emotion, of loss, of pride, of accomplishment. They say not to blink because your kids will grow up. But despite how much we may not want to, it’s involuntary. We have to blink. They don’t talk about this part. No one tells you what to do when you open your eyes again. RELATED: I Blinked and...

Keep Reading

I Love it When You Smile at Me

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little girl in wheel chair with classmates, color photo

I gained a bit of insight today. We were walking past the checkout at the store this afternoon when we came upon a mom and her children, waiting in the checkout line.   RELATED: A Simple Invitation Means the World To a Special Needs Parent My daughter Chloe rolled by them in her wheelchair. I watched, as I often do, as the children noticed her. One girl about Chloe’s age smiled at her as we walked by. As soon as we had passed them, Chloe turned to me and said . . . “She’s the first person to smile at me!”  Let me say I...

Keep Reading

It’s Okay to Say No to the Promposal

In: Kids, Teen
Boy holding pink sign saying "Prom with me?"

Promposals are cute.  But, even for the sweetest questions, it’s okay if the answer is not yes. I have more boys than girls at my house so the whole meet the boy asking your girl out with a gun posts don’t sit well with me. Boys and girls have an equally hard time negotiating friendships and relationships in high school, and I care equally for both. A young man spent some time, told his friends, made a cute sign, and planned to ask my daughter to a dance. A friend of my daughters mentioned he might ask (and even made...

Keep Reading

I Wipe the Slides

In: Kids, Motherhood
boy on slide

I want you to have the most fun possible at your tiny playground stars program, so I wipe the slides. I don’t want you to have a meltdown if your clothes get wet while I’m gone, so I wipe the slides. I want to have three precious hours of only managing your little sister, so I wipe the slides. RELATED: I’d Rather Serve My Kids Than Have Them be “Self-Sufficient” I don’t want you to feel embarrassed by a big reaction to wet clothes when I’m not there to help you, so I wipe the slides. I want you to...

Keep Reading

One Day You’ll Outgrow Being My Little Boy—But Not Today

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Mother and two sons back-to-school picture, color photo

One day you will come home after your first day of a new school year and not wish to share a single thing. Not today. Today, you got into the car and talked non-stop about every second of your day. I was delighted!  One day you will not have countless first-day forms for me to sign and return the next day. Not today. I signed my name at least four times. I was happy to grant permission for you to play sports, learn algebra, and do whatever else I gave my permission for.  One day you will not allow me...

Keep Reading

The Sports Mom Shows Up For Her Kids, No Matter What

In: Kids, Motherhood
Youth baseball game

We’re nearing the end of club baseball/softball season, and the burnout is real. The time away from home, burning through gas to get somewhere for two hours with half your house packed only to pack back up and turn around and drive to the next two-hour destination is insane. I don’t even like the sport right now. There . . . I said it. I’m so sick of softball fields and wind-blown dirt in my face. I’ve seen so many balls thrown in the last two months that my eyes hurt. But I still show up. I love to see...

Keep Reading

Having Babies and Toddlers Is Exhausting—but So, So Sweet

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Family of four with baby and toddler on bed

I took the girls to one of our favorite coffee shops last week and all around me were parents of babies and toddlers. Their little ones ran about in the grassy area out back, toddling up and down the lawn, when it suddenly hit me with perfect clarity—the sun has nearly set on this season for me. It was a realization marked by internal tension, a mourning of the loss of one season contrasted by the joyful anticipation at the arrival of the next. It came out of nowhere and hit me like a tidal wave. Having five kids in...

Keep Reading

3 Common Phrases to Avoid Saying to Your Kids (and What To Say Instead)

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with young boy on couch

Learning to love yourself is hard work. I did not grow up loving myself. Instead, I always felt inadequate, and I felt the need to change myself to prove my worth.  I want more for my kids. I want my kids to know their inherent value and worth. I want to empower my kids to love and accept themselves.  My self-love journey, aided by the expertise of a counselor, has helped me realize there are some narratives from my childhood I needed to unlearn. I had to accept my emotions as helpful and not something to be pushed down. I...

Keep Reading