Mamas Stop Searching

It’s tempting to have a heart that wanders. The Israelites mastered the art of it quite well, even with the Lord speaking audibly to them, giving them visible affirmations of His presence.

They wandered, often choosing the wilderness instead of the promised land.

We all do. When my children were younger, I was still so young as well, and in moments tempted to spread my wings, searching for the next thing to fulfill my wanderlust. A career? A calling? A dream to pursue? The Lord would always gently pull me back toward home, reminding me that I already had a calling, no need to search for something more. What could be more important than these lives, standing before me with brown eyes beckoning?

There were moments when I wondered what I was missing. After all, I once was a girl who longed to be on the stage, felt at home there, playing the part of someone else, reassured with accolades, affirmed with applause. But those temptations passed, quickly by, paling in light of their soft little boy cheeks, brown eyes looking up at me, filled with stories to tell and mouths to feed. I melted at the truth, the intense reality of the gift that they would tell me the stories of their hearts.

I was given a voice. Not as grand as many.  Nothing special, really. But, a voice nonetheless. For singing, for speaking words, for praying, for worshipping, for comforting, for admonishing, for encouraging. A voice meant to lift up, to speak love, to impart grace. Do I use my voice for that? Do I count it for the privilege it is? Sacred, this fleeting gift.

I watch the mamas, searching for something else. Something that gratifies, satisfies, fulfills. But, nothing will. Nothing will, like listening to their stories and soaking in the gift of them wholly. I am among those rushing by without noticing, sometimes, swept into the flurry of the days. But, when I stop, the fullness of soaking them in astounds me. We need not rush, striving and seeking, dear mamas, for what lies right before us, sleeping soundly in their beds.

I sing on a stage, often. Humble stages, church stages. Sometimes to worship my God. Sometimes to honor my country. Sometimes to celebrate the joining of two lives. But, last night, when James couldn’t sleep, and he asked me to sing to him, something soft and quiet to help him rest, my heart swelled. I sat on the floor, in the dark, quietly singing Amazing Grace. My God, my boy, and my humble voice, being used for the purpose He planned. I closed my eyes, remembering the gift of singing to Timothy and James as babes nestled safely in my arms, singing over my mother in her last days, singing over Thomas in his last moments as Jesus carried him home, singing worship songs through tears on my face in my room. The fullness that comes from doing exactly what we are born to do evident and flowing abundant, more so than anytime I stood on a stage.

I was chatting with some mamas yesterday, beautiful mamas whose hearts are firmly turned toward home, moms who know the value of being there and soaking in right now. They were talking about the practical matters of raising and training up our children. I was reflecting on the years I spent on the details, wondering if my children would ever grasp this or that, would I teach them adequately? Would they ever learn? I don’t worry about that anymore. (Not that I don’t still worry about some things!) It has all become quite simple and ridiculously free.

The most important things to know to mother boys (and maybe this is true for girls as well, but I don’t know a lot about that):

Honor God with your life. Live it. What you do speaks volumes more than what you say.

Teach them to see God’s hand in everything, to love His Word.

Be available. In the morning, in the middle of the day, in the wee hours of the night.

Listen, and truly care about their stories. Love what matters to them. It is a sacred gift that they want to tell you their stories. Value and respect it.

If their rooms are messy, close the door and go bake them cookies. Your time is limited…they will not be there to make a messy room or eat your cookies forever.

If boys fill your kitchen, no matter how many, no matter how tired you are, filling their bellies and listening to them fill your house with their laughter and stories will fill your heart more than anything else on planet earth. It is a gift that they want to be in your kitchen.

Stop searching and enjoy them.

Give them…and you grace, abundant grace.

Laugh with them.

Embrace who they are and encourage them to soar with their gifts.



  1. Oh I love this, Kelly. And so needed to read it, for so many different reasons — because I feel myself wandering, growing distracted…because I don’t know how to be a mama to this little boy that is coming…because I just don’t KNOW. Thank you. <3

    • The Lord will equip you, beautiful Beth. You will be a wonderful mama to this little boy, the perfect mama…because you are the one God chose to do it. And, He always equips us to do what He plans for us. Plus, I think I know your heart…or at least a little of it by now…after seeing laid so beautifully bare in this sacred walk. You are going to be just what he needs. Prayers for you this morning and always dear friend.

  2. I think your words speak true for girls as well. I know I need to be better at stopping and enjoying and just leaving some things be b/c they won’t be here forever.

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