Our Biggest Sale of the Year is Here!🎄 ➔


As the mother of two teenagers, I have done my fair share of head shaking. Baggy pants, brightly colored hair, painful piercings, ridiculous Snapchats…I could go on and on. Kids these days, right? 

On the day of my son’s car accident there were kids coming to the hospital in droves. Now don’t get me wrong, there were adults in the hospital, too. Our parents, our pastor, friends, neighbors… all waiting in a room meant for exactly that purpose. Our parents worried about us getting enough rest. Our friends brought crackers and bottled water to keep us nourished and hydrated. Our peers were there to lend us their support in this time of tragedy. But you won’t believe what the kids were doing.

The first two that were allowed into the intensive care unit to see our son were friends he had known since preschool. These three were so close; they referred to each other as ‘brothers.’  When I walked in to let them know their 5-minute visiting window was up, I was speechless. While one boy had his hand rested on my son’s arm, the other was reading from his phone….”and though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me….”  How do you tell teenage boys that are reading scripture to your paralyzed son that they have to leave the room? 

I dried my eyes and went back to the waiting room, where other kids were pairing off, after hearing of the ICU visiting regulations. Some girls from our church’s youth group were standing together by the elevator. When two of them started to approach me, I assumed they were going to ask about their turn to visit my son. Two weeks earlier these girls had spent an afternoon in a pasture playing a spirited game of ‘capture the flag,’ with my children. But what they said that day in the waiting room captured my heart. They asked if they could form a prayer circle around my husband, daughter and me. How could we say no to such a beautiful request? As the youth group members circled around us, many of the other teenagers that had been waiting, joined in as well. As I closed my eyes in prayer, the voice that I heard belonged to a 14-year old girl, asking God to give us strength for the upcoming days, weeks, and months. Her voice was strong and confident and one I will never forget.

Two days after the accident, I was sitting on a cot near my son’s bed, waiting for him to be taken to yet another surgery. When I heard my phone chime, I reached for it, and opened up the text message. I remember smiling and crying at the same time as I looked at a photo of the high school student body gathered around the flagpole at the school. Hands connected, the students were bowing their heads, and the message read, “We are praying for your son!”  Prayer at school…something that was almost taboo. But in this case, the students had insisted.

Later that day, while my son was in recovery, a card was delivered to his room. It was from a friend he had worked with the summer before. They hadn’t known each other very long, which made what was written inside so touching. It read, “Hey Bro, if I could, I would take this from you. I believe that God still has a perfect plan for your life. I am so glad you are alive!”  My tears dripped on the card, and I felt bad that I didn’t know this friend better. But that was about to change.

On the third day, this friend messaged me on Facebook, asking me if my son had accepted Jesus into his life. Yes. No? I was embarrassed that I couldn’t answer. But he took my uncertainty as an invitation. An hour later he appeared in the waiting room with a leather-bound Bible and asked if he could see him. When he emerged from the ICU hallway and headed toward the elevator, he turned to me, and nodded ‘yes.’  I watched the elevator doors close and found myself feeling so extremely grateful…grateful that God had put these kids in our lives. We were blessed!

The next time you find yourself shaking your head at a group of teenagers, take a deep breath and try this. Look beyond their hair color and past their piercings or sagging clothes. Try looking into their hearts. What’s inside could make a huge difference in someone’s life. A difference that could affect an eternity.

Proverbs 22:6

Start children off on the way they should go,

 and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

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

Pre-Order Now

Kari Wells

Kari Wells is a small-town Nebraskan and wouldn’t have it any other way! She is a wife and the mother of two fabulous children. Kari has been a first grade teacher for 20 years and feels blessed to have had her summers free to take ‘One Tank Trips’ and little adventures, especially when her children were young. She is an avid baseball fan and roots for the Cubs, White Sox, Royals, Astros and Rangers. Besides her family and baseball, her loves include stargazing, traveling, cake decorating, and reading.

Sometimes Growth Is Tangible, and When It Is You Hold On Tight

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom putting bike helmet on child

I never expected my sign to come in the form of a plastic bag. As a parent, you’re told over and over how fast it all goes, to cherish these times because they’re gone in a blink. You see the gradual changes in your kids as they move through milestones. One day, they can hold their own spoon. They begin stringing words into sentences. Their ages are counted in years and no longer months. You watch these things happen every day, but I didn’t realize some transitions would come in tangible ways, like a grocery bag filled with wet swim...

Keep Reading

Some Nights They Need You a Little More

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping, color photo

Some nights they need you a little more, mama. Because of the bad dreams or the bogeyman they are adamant is under the bed. Because firefighter daddy’s schedule leaves him missing goodnight tuck-ins and bedtime stories several times a week, sometimes leaving them a little needier and more emotional. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. RELATED: I’ll Lay With You As Long As You Need, My Child Because they are sick. Because they feel safe in your presence. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. It’s not always easy. It’s not always (okay, hardly ever)...

Keep Reading

Sweet Babies, I’ll Be There

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two children lying in bed, color photo

When your world is calm and peaceful, I’ll be there. When your world is chaotic like an ice cream shop on the hottest day of summer, I’ll be there. When you need a Band-Aid applied and a boo-boo kissed, I’ll be there. When you want to perform in your Frozen microphone like you’re performing for a crowd of 20,000 people, I’ll be there. When you feel lost and alone, I’ll be there. When you feel you have nowhere to go, I’ll be there. RELATED: I Will Always Be There When You Need Me, My Son When you need a pep...

Keep Reading

I’m in the Big Little Years

In: Kids, Motherhood
black and white photo of little boy and little girl standing in a window together

I’m in the big little years. It’s when you’re no longer in the tender season of babies and toddlers—those sweet, smothering, exhausting years of being constantly touched and needed . . . . . . but you’re not yet in the big kid years—navigating boyfriends and driver’s licenses and bracing your heart for the impending ache of an empty nest. I’m somewhere in between. I’m in the years of having littles that aren’t so little anymore, but still need you for so much. They have big feelings. Big ideas. Big dreams. But they have mostly little problems (even though they...

Keep Reading

1-Year-Olds Are Wonderful

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
1 year old baby smiling

Newborns—who doesn’t love them?  The captivating scent of a brand new baby, their fragile little bodies laying so delicately on your chest. Everything that comes with a newborn baby is just absolute magic. But have you ever had a 1-year-old? I used to think the newborn phase was my favorite, nothing could ever be better than having such a tiny helpless little human rely on you for absolutely everything. I could hold my newborn for hours, soaking in every tiny little detail before it became nothing but a beautifully distant memory. But I’ve realized it’s 1-year-olds who have a special...

Keep Reading

My Kids Are All in School Now and It’s a Little Lonely

In: Kids, Motherhood
Woman looking out window alone

I had just dropped my children off at school. All of them. My youngest has just started full-time. It was my first full day on my own since she began, and I had really been looking forward to it, so I took myself into town to do a bit of shopping and grab a coffee. Just me. The kind of days dreams are made of, right? I could suddenly breathe again.  I only had myself to answer to.  I got my latte and something to eat. And then I cried.  My eyes filled with tears as I sat in the...

Keep Reading

I Love You Even When I Say I Don’t

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter touch foreheads

“I love you even when I say I don’t.” These words came out of nowhere from my 5-year-old. I was standing in the bathroom with her (we still don’t like to go potty without mommy standing right there), and she wouldn’t look at me while talking to me. You see, my 5-year-old and I have been in more spouts than ever before. She’s found this new attitude in her first couple months of kindergarten, coming home with new phrases including, “No, I don’t want to–you do it.” It hurts my heart, makes me frustrated, and leaves me asking myself where...

Keep Reading

Big Questions at Bedtime Don’t Require Perfect Answers

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and child at bedtime

Last night at bedtime, my son asked why everyone has to die one day. The thought of my sweet 7-year-old grappling with the weight of such a question hurt my heart. He looked so small tucked under a fleece blanket, clutching his favorite stuffed panda. How could the same little boy who just started second grade wearing a space backpack stuffed with bright, wide-ruled notebooks ask such a thing?  Perhaps my children are more aware of the inevitability of death than other kids their age due to the passing of various family pets over the past few years, or perhaps...

Keep Reading

If Someone Needs a Friend, Be a Friend

In: Friendship, Kids, Motherhood
Three kids with backpacks, color photo

“If someone needs a friend, be a friend” it’s the running joke in our family. My husband will say the phrase to our four kids when discussing certain life situations in a lovingly mocking type way. They’ll all look at me and chuckle. I giggle a little myself at the corniness of it. But I always add, “It’s true.” It’s a phrase I’ve used more times than I can count. To teach them all to be includers—the kind of kids who look for the kid having a bad day and seek to brighten it, the kind of kids who stand...

Keep Reading

I Hope My Daughter Always Hears My Voice

In: Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Toddler girl putting on sock, color photo

“Dots on bottom. Stretch over toes,” she mutters to herself while independently putting on her tiny toddler socks. I must have said those words to her about a thousand times and responded to “Mama, help” even more . . . modeling how to correctly put them on until the moment she finally pushed me away and insists on executing this task herself. When I believe I sound like a broken record, what I’m actually doing, as it turns out, is imparting wisdom . . . “Uh oh, try again,” she declares when her tower topples. “Chew first, then talk,” she...

Keep Reading