Sunday, January 13, 2013


I never know what to do in this situation.

I am in the store and hear a mom berating her child an isle over about some minor infraction. This time an overtaxed mom is sick and tired of his *explicit terms removed* shoes coming untied and she is letting him know in no uncertain terms that if this happens again he will be wearing girls shoes from now on!  Her tone betrays her complete impatience and wrathful intent. She goes on- aiming to wound her defenseless foe. 

And I never know what to do. I pray. Maybe by preparing ahead of time I might have something more helpful up my sleeve. Like offering a kind word, or a smile or striking up a conversation so that I might be able to pray with her as the situation allows.

Instead I am actually tempted (to my shame) to give this mom a serious 'stink eye' to let her know I heard exactly what she said and I do not approve of it one bit! 


"The wrath of man does not produce
the righteousness of God. "
- James 1:20

It never does. 
Not in a careless child
and not in a thoughtless adult. 

Later in the week our family received an amazingly kind note.

It was from a saint we recently had in our home. He wrote to tell us how much he appreciates specific things about our family; how he values our role within our local body and how he would like to visit again soon. I soaked up his kind and exceptionally generous words, reading his note more than once.

Why is it we never want to part with a letter like that?

Although his view of our family was far more gracious than we deserve, I noticed that it sparked in me a desire to be just that person he thought he saw and to abound more and more in good works.   

Why is it when someone sees us as loving,
we want to prove them right?

And when we hear we have a gifting,
we want to stretch ourselves in that area even more?

And how does that apply in our homes?  Although it is our job to correct our children, I find that it can require some effort to be on guard to be looking to catch them doing good that we might bless them.

A nod and smile from across the room.

A  'high five' and a 'Good job-  I can see you are really working on that!' 

Maybe even a handwritten note they can read again and again- and will never want to part with. 

And as we do, we demonstrate the Father.  Who looks to and fro across the earth to bless those whose hearts are His. 

"The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth
in order to strengthen those
whose hearts are fully committed to him."
2 Chronicles 16:9

By His Grace,


One movie we love that demonstrates the power of seeing the best in others is:  Little Lord Fauntleroy.  It's a dear old film.  You can find this any many other encouraging film recommendations by liking the Facebook page 'Inspire: Rediscovering Classic Family Films' which is managed by our dear friends, the Wintons.


  1. Ahhhh. First of all, so glad you are back :) I just went to a lecture this week about raising resilient children and the psychologist spoke about finding the good to encourage. Seems perhaps this is what I am supposed to be hearing right now ;)

  2. Oh, how I love your heart.

    Do you know that I recently saw a mom of SIX little ones in the store, and it was certainly a scene! So you know what I loved most? That she was cheerfully directing all of them as they scampered to choose yogurt, throw things in the cart, and generally *try* to be helpful in the way of little ones. I noted how beautifully she was swaying and bending to make this stressful time in the store PLEASANT for her crew of wee people. Because Wal-Mart often causes me to (equally shamefully) cast a bit more *stink eye* than needed, I was reminded how even I can grow in grace, kindness, and ALL people.

    In addition, though my *outward* talk to my kids can be sweet, sometimes the inward sway of my heart is irritated, grouchy, and even downright hateful. So, the honeyed words are hiding an angry heart. Not so lovely, for sure. I'm going to try to remember that as my nature is to be judgmental instead of merciful.

    Thanks for this reminder today.


  3. Thank you dear Gabi! I really appreciate you! Don't you love when the Lord exposes us to the same thought over and over? He has a gentle way of directing us sheep. :) Love to you!

    Thank you AK. How lovely of you to be so transparent. Yes- I can relate to that thin veil covering a wicked heart and the difficulty in thinking the best of others at times. But God. :) I love the example of the mom of six who was managing her children in a kind way. It shows how we can be a real light in darkness, whether we realize it or not. May you be blessed dear one.

  4. Thank you for this post Rebecca! It's wonderful to have the reminder that a cross face or word brings no good - for adults and children alike. Blessings. :) xx

  5. Thank you, Saminda! I hope my far away friend is well. Hugs to you! :)

  6. Thank you, Rebecca for this beautiful post! All of your posts are so soul enriching to me. This one really grabbed me as I just experienced this kind of thing at a local 'dollar store'. A woman yelling profanities at her teenage daughter for forgetting to bring money to pay for the items. Unfortunately, my children heard every word. I felt such embarrassment, not only for that poor girl, but for myself, because I was not sure how to remedy the situation. Once we were in the car, I had a much needed talk with the kiddos and prayed about what I should have done and for that girl (and family). I know just what you mean, 'what do you do?' I am very thankful for your post. I too, make the mistake of cross words at home and let emotions get away from me. Much prayer comes from mothers as we handle the amazing responsibility of raising children. Thank you again very much for your wonderful words.
    May God bless you and your family.

  7. Thank you, Tammy. You just made my day. :) Hugs to you!

  8. As always thank you for your great words of wisdom. I am currently in the middle of reading "Give Them Grace" and it is teaching me SO much. I was not raised with the reformed mindset and it is teaching me so much about theology. I feel so far behind. I am having to learn about grace myself and then in the process, pass it on to my children. I am feeling really overwhelmed. In reading the book I realized that while I have always been careful to never tell my children they themselves are good (since thankfully I learned early on that no man is good, no not one) but I realize that I have been building pride and the desire to please me by telling that what they do is good, or good job, or praising them for selflessness or charity or thoughtfulness. I'm afraid that if I abandon my encouragement to them they will cease to see the importance of these things. I must admit I'm a bit confused. I want to encourage them to do good and to be selfless (etc) and at ages 6, 4, 2, and 1 so many biblical concepts are so abstract to them. I'm not finished with the book yet so I am praying that my questions will be answered either by the Lord using the book or by others.

    Sorry for the rambling. It was a joy to read this post. Thank you.

  9. Hi Emily!

    Great to hear from you- and thank you!

    I think it's fantastic that your little ones want to please you with their obedience! When children are little we represent God to them in so many ways. They live to hear our "good job!" just like we love to sense God's approval as we walk in obedience to Him.

    There is a blessing and excitement that comes from choosing obedience that I believe is a reward and not pride.

    At the same time we can teach them truth- that when we do good it is because God is at work causing us to will and do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). When we remind ourselves of that truth, then God gets the glory and things stay in proper perspective.

    Blessings to you Sister!

  10. Wow, great post, Rebecca! I need to read it again. And again.
    Love, Alyssa