Out of the Mouths of Babes…

Our children have great lessons to teach us—if we’ll only listen.

Posted in , May 13, 2015

Michelle's daughters, Ally and Abby.

“Well, I just wouldn’t sit by her at lunch anymore,” I said, matter-of-factly, as I brushed my then ten-year-old daughter’s hair into a ponytail. “If that little girl is causing that much trouble within your group of friends, I would simply avoid her.”

Abby listened intently, as I continued.

“And furthermore, if she says any more ugly things to you, I will go to your teacher and make sure you are never in a situation where you have to sit next to her again.”

By this time, Allyson, my then eight-year-old, had joined us, listening to every word.

Neither of my daughters interrupted as I finished my heartfelt speech, filled with nuggets of motherly wisdom, or so I thought.

Then, as I was spritzing each of them with my latest Bath & Body Works fragrance, Allyson’s real words of wisdom emerged from a haze of Sun-Ripened Raspberry.

“Mom,” she said. “I was just thinking. Maybe Abby is supposed to be that girl’s friend so that she can witness to her. Maybe Abby is supposed to let that girl see Jesus through her.”


Yep, I had become the student. And in that moment, I realized that just because I wear the “Mother Hat,” that “hat” certainly didn’t make me right all of the time. In fact, I wanted to pull that hat over my face and hide.

How could I have been so “off” on this one? I wondered.

“Yes, that’s a good point,” I commented, forcing a half smile at my girls. “Abby, you handle this situation the way you feel God would want you to, and I’ll be praying for you.”

“OK,” she said, giving me a quick hug before bolting out the door and off to school.

“See ya, Mom!” Allyson called, following her big sister out the door.

I was left alone—in my bunny slippers—to pray and ponder.

In those following quiet moments, I asked the Lord to forgive my harsh tongue where that little girl was concerned, and I thanked Him for giving me two remarkable daughters—little in stature but big in heart.

Our children have great lessons to teach us—if we’ll only listen.


That lesson came more than ten years ago, and this past weekend as we celebrated Mother’s Day, I reflected once again on how much I have learned from my children over the years, and how much I continue to glean from them.

Abby amazes me with her servant’s heart and her organizational skills. Not long ago, I came home from teaching at a writers’ conference, and she had totally reorganized my closet. If you’d seen it before, you’d know she must have had divine intervention to accomplish that task.

Of course, I was pleased with my “easy-to-find-everything-in closet,” but I was even more touched that Ab had done such a sweet act of service—just to bless me—without being asked. She’s just that kind of gal—thoughtful and helpful. It’s no wonder God has called her into teaching.

And, Allyson is that constant cheerleader in my life, telling me, “You can do it, Mom!” “You’re a great writer, Mom!” “You’re an amazing speaker!” It’s like she instinctively knows when I need affirmation, and she freely gives it.

And, she is also one of the hardest-working individuals I’ve ever known. Witnessing the many projects she had to do (and do well) in order to graduate with such a high GPA from fashion design school, completely amazed me and motivated me to do more with the minutes in my day.

I know I am biased, but I am also blessed beyond measure to have two daughters who teach me to be better simply by watching them “do life.”

I am so thankful to be a mother, and I am living proof that you’re never too old to learn. If you’re a mama or a grandma who was blessed this past week by your children and grandchildren honoring you on Mother’s Day, why not bless those kiddos and grandbabies right back by letting them know how much they inspire you on a daily basis?

Let them know you’re watching, and give them specific examples of how they motivate you to be a better person. Those teachable moments go both ways, and aren’t you grateful that you can grow up, spiritually-speaking, right alongside your children and grandchildren?

Pray this with me:

Father, thank You for giving me such awesome children. Please help me to appreciate everything about them. And, Lord help me to have a teachable heart so that I can grow up right along with them. In the Mighty Name of Your Son Jesus, Amen.

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