So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Raise your hand if you’ve found parenting is just as much about growing yourself as it is about growing your children. As parents, we are learning right alongside our kids and sometimes those lessons smack us right in the face. And, if we’re lucky, it gets our attention and causes us to take notes and make changes. 

A few months ago, I had just gotten my first grader settled in at the kitchen table with his spelling homework. He was supposed to write each word three times and he was already on word number two, so I left him alone to go throw some laundry in the wash. When I walked by him no less than five minutes later, he had traded his pencil in for a large silver sharpie and was writing each word as large as he could on one sheet of paper per word.

My first thoughts came flooding out of my mouth like a torrential downpour onto my son. It was accompanied my high pitch screaming wind.

WHAT are YOU doing?!

Why are you using a Sharpie?!

Why are you writing one word on each paper?!

You’re wasting paper! This notebook is supposed to last you all year!

Who writes one word on each paper?!

It all came out rapid-fire before I looked down at my little one’s head downcast by all my fury.

Why was I so upset over this? Maybe it’s because as a mom my fuse had gotten shorter and shorter. Maybe I expected him to know better since we were six months into the school year. I’m not sure. But the moment I saw his face, all that hurricane force wind was knocked out of me.

I talk a lot about speaking life to my kids. It truly is one of the guiding principles of my parenting. I try to speak words that encourage them and point them to who they were created to be. But in this moment, there was no life. Only death. There is life and death in the power of the tongue and I was the grim reaper. It’s not that my questions weren’t relevant, but they were frustrated, accusatory, and angry.

As soon as I saw his face, I panicked.

Oh no. What am I doing? How can I fix this?

If you’re a parent, you’ve been here. You’ve overreacted. You’ve beaten yourself up at the end of the day for yelling too much or not having enough patience. You’ve promised to do better and by the next day, you find yourself in another unhinged moment.

But, I’ve got good news for you. News that hit me in that moment that made all the difference. News that can help you in your own parenting when you catch yourself in a moment that you regret.

You can turn it around.

YOU can TURN it around.

We’re not perfect. But all is not lost when we have an imperfect moment. We can stop and turn it around and make imperfect progress.

I looked at my son and instantly shut my mouth. I bent down eye-to-eye with him.

Did your pencil break? You’re so smart to find something else to write with. You’re a problem solver. I’m so impressed how you always find solutions to your problems. And look how neatly you wrote that word. Your handwriting just keeps getting better and better. You are becoming an excellent speller. I’m sure your teacher appreciates all your hard work. I’m so proud of you.

As I was speaking his head raised up like a parched plant that had just soaked up new, spring rain. My sudden turnaround caught him by surprise and he looked at me wide-eyed and curious.

Mom? Do you really mean all that?

Yes, every word.

And all of a sudden a moment of failure turned into a glorious moment. A moment where mercy and grace fell gently on both of us. Whenever I find myself in a moment of coming undone, I can stop and turn it around.

I don’t have to wallow in the despair of the moment. I don’t have to throw my hands up and embrace defeat. I can turn it around. It sounds so simple, but I believe that most things are. We just make them harder than they have to be.

Take a hold of the grace you need today and don’t waste one more precious moment consumed with failure. You can turn it around, mama.

You May Also Like:

I’m Tired of Being An Angry Mom

To the Broken Mommy

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here! 

Sherry White

Sherry White writes about the messiness of life, parenting, and faith at her blog The Messy Christian. She tries to add her own brand of humor and insight into everyday issues we all face, reminding us that even though we find ourselves in countless messes, God’s grace lights the way. She would be thrilled if you follower her on Facebook and Instagram.

I’m Giving My Kids the Summer Fun I Never Had

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys playing in the waves on the beach, color photo

I love that my kids hate school. Stay with me here . . . Yes, I absolutely love that year after year, my boys cannot wait to ditch school for summer break, that they endlessly bemoan the academic year and cannot wait for June.  I love it because it is normal. I love it because it means they enjoy being at home and implies that I make summers fun for them, or, rather, allow summers to be fun for them. I love it because I always dreaded summers when I was growing up. Dreaded them with knots in my stomach...

Keep Reading

Mothering One Day at a Time

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding daughter in matching shirts, color photo

As I sat with my growing belly, full of anticipation for the arrival of my firstborn, the possibilities were endless for this little girl. Maybe she would lean toward the arts and be a dancer, writer, or musician. Or maybe she would take after her great-granddad and become a scientist. And maybe one day she would be a mother too. Dreaming about the future was fun and exciting. But then she surprised us with an at-birth Down syndrome diagnosis. Special needs were never included in my dreaming sessions.    All of the sudden, my hopes and dreams for this new...

Keep Reading

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

I Know It’s Just Summer Camp but I Miss You Already

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Kids by campfire

You would’ve thought I was sending you off to college. The way I triple-checked to make sure you had everything you needed and reminded you about the little things like brushing your teeth and drinking plenty of water about a thousand times. You would’ve thought I was sending you to live on your own. The way I hugged you tight and had to fight back some tears. The way you paused before leaving just to smile at me. The way I kept thinking about that boyish grin all the way home. The way I kept thinking about how you’re looking...

Keep Reading

I Want My Boys To Become Men of Character

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boys with arms around each other by water

I’m a single mama of two young boys. As a woman raising young boys, I’ve thought a lot about how I want them to act—as kids and adults. We joke around that I’m not raising farm animals, and we don’t live in a frat house. I’m trying to plant seeds now so they grow into men with positive character traits. They burp, fart, spray toothpaste on the sink and somehow miss the toilet often, but I’m trying to teach them life lessons about what it means to be great men and gentlemen.  Interactions with other men provide opportunities for us...

Keep Reading

Until There Was a Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother looking at son and smiling, color photo

I never believed in love at first sight . . . until there was a boy.  A boy who made my heart whole the first time he looked at me.  A boy who held my hand and touched my soul at the same time.  A boy who challenged me and helped me grow. A boy who showed me that, even on the worst days, the world is still a beautiful place.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything A boy who reminded me how to laugh until tears ran down my cheeks. A boy who tested my patience...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Heart Remembers These Sweet Moments Forever

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and baby laughing

Motherhood gives you all the feelings. It’s hard not to be utterly thankful for and grieve the little things of your last baby, trying to take in all of the firsts and lasts. Every bin of clothes and baby gear packed up produces a tiny crack in a mother’s heart, breaking just a little bit more each time she says goodbye. It’s not that she needs those baby clothes, but it’s the memories each outfit held that are difficult for her to let go of. She does not want to forget those beautiful moments. When she looks at that bin...

Keep Reading

I Want You To Miss Your Childhood One Day Too

In: Kids, Living
Kids jumping off dock into lake

What I miss the most about childhood is owning my whole heart. Before I gave pieces of it away to others who weren’t always careful with it. And some, who never gave the pieces back. I miss my knowing. My absolute faith that my mother’s arms could fix just about everything and what her arms couldn’t, her cookies could. When my biggest grievance was not getting my way. I miss feeling whole, unblemished. Before words cut me. Before people had taken up space in my mind, created permanent movies that were ugly and still play on repeat at times. Before...

Keep Reading

No One Told Me It Was the Last Time You’d Be This Little

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young son playing in ocean

No one told me it would be the last time I rocked you to sleep. A cry in the night, the haze of a dimly lit room, our rocking chair worn brown. We were the only ones in a little world. No one told me it would be the last time I carried you on my hip. The way my body shifted—you changed my center of gravity. Your little arm hooked in mine, a gentle sway I never noticed I was doing. No one told me it would be the last time I pushed you on the bucket swing. Your...

Keep Reading

The Only Way to Freeze Time Is to Take the Picture—So I’ll Take as Many as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two kids sitting in wagon, color photo

Life ebbs and flows. Seasons come and go. One of the reasons I take so many photos is because they are the only way to make time stand still. They provide a nostalgia that can’t compete with anything else. They help us remember the exact moment captured and show us how fast time is fleeting. It doesn’t matter if their texture is glossy or matte. It doesn’t matter if they are in a frame or on a screen. It doesn’t matter if they are professional or if someone’s thumbprint is in the upper corner. All that matters is the moment...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime