Shop the fall collection ➔

When my brother Bobby and I were kids, we liked to take a shortcut through an empty lot in our neighborhood. Unfortunately for us, the owner of the lot decided to plow it. Gone was the grass. In its place, furrows of heavy clay curled across our shortcut, and, when rain fell,  the clay congealed into a thick, sticky mess.

One afternoon, Bobby and I asked our mother if we could go play with our friends, Carol and Wayne. She agreed with one stipulation. Don’t walk across the empty lot on the way to their house. I knew exactly what she meant. Don’t get mud on your shoes. I understood completely.

Bobby and I walked across the street. I gazed out at the furrowed lot, studied the ploughed clay. It was totally dry, crumbling and brittle as only clay can be.

Bobby said,”Mom told us…”

I looked at him with the pity of my superior age and knowledge, and I explained, “The clay is dry. We can walk on top of the furrows.”

So we did, or at least we tried to.

 Halfway across, at the point of no return, we were in trouble. On the top, the clay was dry, but under the curled edges of the furrows, the clay was sticky and horrible, and it clung to our shoes in an ever-thickening layer, clay upon clay, until our shoes were encased and even our ankles were under attack.

When we arrived at our friends’ house, Wayne greeted us on the front porch. I can still see his face (one eyebrow up) as he said in his typical understated way, “You guys are gonna be in trouble.”

Yep.

We trudged back home — the long way. We peeled the clay away from our ankles. We wiped our shoes in the grass. We scraped the soles with our fingernails, but the evidence of our crime stuck fast.

Mom met us at the door. The first words out of my mouth were, “But, Mom, I didn’t think the clay was wet…”

That was the problem. I didn’t think.

I didn’t think my mother was right. I didn’t think she knew as much as I did. I questioned her wisdom, and I suffered the consequences, as did my brother and our shoes.

Now, as an adult, I still have a tendency to rely on my own wisdom. God has given us a Book filled with wisdom, but sometimes, for inexplicable reasons, I think know more than He knows, so I go my own way. Only when my shoes are globbed with clay, does it dawn on me that I’ve made a bad decision, that I was wrong and God was right.

On this Mother’s Day and on every day, I am more than grateful to my wonderful mom for her wisdom in large things and in small. Hers is a wisdom from God, and I’m sure of that from the center of my soul. Why? Because, when Mom says no and when God says no, their reasons are grounded in commonsense and founded on love.

No, Sue, because I understand the consequences, and you don’t.

No, Sue, because I don’t want you to be hurt.

No, because I want your life to be beautiful.

No, because I love you all the way to the stars and beyond.

So. Any arguments? Not from me.

Sue Harrison

BIO: Novelist Sue Harrison is best known for her Alaska trilogies. Her novels, national and international bestsellers, have been published in more than 20 countries in 13 different languages. Her novel Mother Earth Father Sky was named by the American Library Association as a Best Books for Young Adults. Sue lives with her husband in Michigan, but has family here in Nebraska and love Nebraska's rich history. She is currently writing romantic suspense for the inspirational market. Catch up with Sue on her website and blog – www.sueharrison.com .

The Best Marriage Advice We Ever Got: Touch Feet Every Night

In: Faith, Marriage
Couple touching feet in bed

Twenty-six years ago this summer, I got a tiny piece of advice on my wedding day that has kept me from making a huge mistake time and time again. A wise woman told me, “When you climb in bed each night with your husband, make sure that your feet touch under the covers. It’s hard to be mad at someone and touch feet.”  I had no idea, all those years ago, how impactful this piece of advice would be and how many times in our marriage this would be the small act that kept us united. This simple act of...

Keep Reading

Faith is a Verb, So We Go to Church

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman and teen daughter in church pew

Every Sunday morning we rush out the door bribing, coaxing, and threatening our kids to just “Get into the van!” Luckily, we live remotely rural so we don’t have neighbors to witness our often un-Christlike eye rolls and harsh sighs as we buckle each other up. We’ve always lived within a five-minute drive to a chapel, and yet we are usually there not two minutes before the service starts. Once sitting in our seats, we’re on high alert for noise control and sibling altercations for the next hour of what is supposed to be a peaceful, sacred, spirit-filled service. Which...

Keep Reading

3 Simple Ways to Be a More Confident Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and young child smiling outside

Do you ever ask yourself why you can’t be more like that mom or why can’t your kids be like those kids? The comparison trap is an easy one to fall into if we aren’t careful. At the click of our fingers, we see Pinterest-worthy motherhood in every category. From the mom with the black-belt kids to the mom with Marie Kondo organizing skills—it’s easy to look at their lives and feel like we’ve fallen short. Even worse, is when we start to strive to become something we aren’t or prod our kids to become something they aren’t.  Comparison makes...

Keep Reading

Grief Is Persistent But God Is Faithful

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Woman praying by ocean

The loss of a parent doesn’t just sting, it leaves you with an irreplaceable hole in your heart. It’s been two years since my loving daddy went home to be with Jesus, and the loss I feel is still unimaginable.  I know in my heart he’s in a better place that is absent of pain and distress. However, his physical presence and wisdom are so dearly missed here on this earth.  He left behind an army of a family who adored him and looked to him for solid guidance. No matter how hard I try to look to the bright...

Keep Reading

I Gave up on God but He Never Gave up on Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother hugging son, color photo

I grew up in a religious house. We went to church every Sunday. My mom taught Sunday school, and we participated as a family in most church events. We believed in the power of prayer, hope, faith, love, and forgiveness. As a little girl, I watched my dad kneel at the side of the bed every night and say his prayers. In the last six years, my faith has not been what it should have been. It has plummeted into the depths of nothingness, buried deep below the darkness. I have felt angry and abandoned by God. In response, I...

Keep Reading

I Count My Blessings Every Day

In: Faith
Mom and child by beach

I remember being jealous of my classmates often. I would look at the girls at my school who seemed to be living such a carefree life. They would do well in school effortlessly and go home to their moms, dads, and siblings, to a house they’d grown up in. I wanted that so much for myself! I wanted my mom and dad to be together, and if it wasn’t too much to ask, a sibling or two. I wanted us to live in a house where I could have my own room, but I wouldn’t mind sharing if I had...

Keep Reading

Dear Lord, Make Me a Grace Hunter

In: Faith
Woman with crutches looking out window, black-and-white photo

I want to be known as a grace hunter. Every day, I pray I would be given eyes to see the world in which we live through a lens of grace—a lens that causes me to marvel at the ways of my God and be constantly filled with wonder. I am thankful I have no choice but to live life at a slower pace. I pray for the ability to see the beauty and God’s grace in the seemingly small and insignificant things. RELATED: In the Midst of Grief, There is Grace I pray for eyes to see His grace even...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Follow Your Beautiful Heart

In: Faith, Kids
Mother and daughter smiling

When I held you in my arms for the first time, it was like time stopped. As you looked up at me with innocence and new life, I was struck by the reality that my main role in your life would be to guide and direct you on the right path. I hoped I would do the best job possible. As I watched you grow, I basked in your joy of putting on your pretty dresses, adorned with layers of costume jewelry, parading around the house for your father and me to see. I dreamed often of what path you...

Keep Reading

So God Made Midnight

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and newborn

When God created a mother, He created her to love and serve in every moment. He knew the constant need would sometimes overwhelm her and she would have no choice but to rely on His strength and grace. He knew she would feel like there weren’t enough hours in the day . . . so God made midnight. He knew a mama’s days with a newborn would be busy and sometimes chaotic. He knew she would be distracted by meeting needs and attempting to find balance—that sneaking in a hot shower would become almost a luxury . . . so...

Keep Reading

Lord, I Don’t Want To Face This Storm

In: Faith
Rain cloud over a lake, color photo

“I feel like I’m right in the middle of that rain shaft, suspended over the ocean,” I told my husband as we waited out a Florida afternoon rain on our hotel balcony. “There’s light and beauty all around me, but I feel like I’m just lost in that storm.”  Just two nights before, we awoke to the cries of our 11-year-old son, the pain in his right lower abdomen so great that he woke up from a deep sleep. Our vacation took a solemn turn as my husband loaded him up in our rental car and drove to a children’s...

Keep Reading