Sunshine and Gratitude

Lindsey with ButterflyYesterday, in the sunshine of our backyard, Lindsey and I had one of our best talks yet. Earlier in the day, she had gotten angry with me about something I said, something she took entirely the wrong way. I was feeling sad and frustrated that our relationship still isn’t where I’d like it to be — where I feel it needs to be for me to have any influence in her life in the brief years before she’s out on her own. But she came out to talk to me, which was in itself a huge improvement from just a couple of years ago, when she would’ve simply hidden in her room indefinitely.

In yesterday’s talk, I was able to tell her many of the things that usually would’ve made her angry, and this time she seemed to really listen, and we had a real conversation. She told me why she got mad, she apologized, and she acknowledged that she took it entirely differently than I had intended. We talked for a long time — sometimes tearfully — and even talked about school, which tends to be a volatile subject.

Lindsey said (not for the first time) that she has a hard time talking to me and trusting that I have her best interest at heart, because “everyone has always walked out on me.” This time, though, it occurred to me (thank you, Jesus!) to tell her, “No. They haven’t. For the first 14 years of your life, that was true, but we haven’t walked out on you and we’re not going to.” I don’t know how long it will take for that truth to sink into her heart, but I’m praying it does.

I wrote all this in my journal this morning as a praise to God, but also as a reminder to myself. I have had great difficulty not letting my frustrations show in my interactions with Lindsey, but that’s not godly parenting, and it’s not what she needs. I prayed this morning that my heavenly Father would help me mother my children with joy, never forgetting what an honor and privilege it is to do so. I prayed that He would help me greet them with smiles, hug them often, and not let their attitudes or responses dictate my attitude towards them. I know the time is short, and I want to make the most of it. (Ephesians 5:16)

Multitudes on Monday

More gratitude for the past couple of weeks:

1241 – Finding pants Kathryn likes and will wear — a far bigger deal than it sounds!
1242 – Our “puppy” Lacy turned 5 years old.
1243 – Hosting a few homeschool moms here for a little “ladies’ night out.”
1244 – A Valentine coffee date with my love.
1245 – Even though plans for a getaway fell through, Ken and I still had a weekend alone, just the two of us.
1246 – Uninterrupted conversation with Ken at dinner.
1247 – Yummy breakfast date — and a gift card to pay for it.
1248 – Kathryn’s stubborn tooth (a molar) finally fell out.
1249 – A good visit from my Dad.
1250 – A fun family day with new experiences and the making of memories.
1251 – Amazement at the variety of creatures God made and the intricate detail with which He made them.
1252 – Praying with my husband.
1253 – Flexibility of homeschooling when a child isn’t feeling well.
1254 – Free trial of Netflix allowed us to watch a few educational films on a sick day.
1255 – All that my sister does for my dad with his doctors appointments and such.
1256 – Kathryn was able to do the racer derby, even though we had no idea what night it was and almost missed it. And the fact that our big God cares even about small things like that.
1257 – Sitting in the sunshine, and much-needed talks with the teen daughter God put in my life just a few years ago.

Even when circumstances of life are hard and we can’t see what He could be doing or why, our God is good. He’s been showing me this again lately, and with all that’s going on with my Dad, I really need that reminder.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing

Someday we will get to sit and talk – I totally understand the frustration – and even anger because you put everything on the line and lay it all out there – sacrifice for your child – to open your heart and your home and sometimes have it thrown back at you – it is hard – so hard – but the best kind of hard and it’s all so totally worth it when you catch glimpses of the truth – that God’s word does not return void & that the seeds you are working hard to sew – ARE… Read more »

Kris @ Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Reading this post made my heart happy today. Praying for your family and particularly for Lindsey that God will allow her to fully accept the love that you are so willing to give her.


I know this wasn’t the point of this post, but I truly understand the importance of finding pants for a particular tween girl! And that same tween girl in this house has an appointment at the dentist on Wednesday for her stubborn molars to be pulled–unless she can self-loosen them enough before then. Beautiful blessing list!


Blessings, blessings, blessings on your heads! How wonderful that Lindsey has you for her mama.

My own Miss Priss was at a racer derby on Friday with her friend. (I almost typed “roller derby” and had a good laugh about that!)


Wow…thank you for sharing this prayer….”Father help me mother my children with joy, never forgetting what an honor and privilege it is to do so.” I join you in praying .

Eddie - The Usual Mayhem

I am so happy for you both! Talks like that make it all worthwhile, and it sounds like you handled it beautifully.

M wants to know what pants Kathryn got, since she will at the moment only wear leggings and sweatpants because she can’t find any comfortable ones!


What a blessing to read of this journey! Thanks for sharing from your heart!
Faith and Courage, Lori


Very inspirational! I am so glad that you are had a very blessed life.. Thanks for sharing it with us! 🙂

Charlotte Mason in the City

I agree with Kris in the comment above: this post made my heart happy today. You have the vision to know that you will not walk out on her, and she is growing into sharing that vision too. Enjoy this day and the memory of it.


Wow… this was so powerful and tender at the same time… it is a beautiful thing to want to connect to the people we love in a real heart way… even though it seems like a more of a struggle at times… it is God’s grace that can bring such beautiful things out of such struggles… Fighting for their hearts… that is what we mamas and dads are to do… so that they would know His love… and you are doing a beautiful work… Inspiring.

Only by His grace… Beautiful…


I am so glad God is making a way for you to connect and grow closer to Lindsey. I had a very difficult time trusting and opening up to adults when I was her age, because every time I did, my heart got squashed. I struggled greatly with not feeling worth anything until I came to know Christ. She is so blessed to have a mom like you. And although it may seem you will only have a great amount of influence in her life in the next couple years, I think it will far outlast that. Some relationships and… Read more »


I loved reading this! I think, by nature mother daughter (adopted or no) relationships have a hard time finding that sweet spot. I know for me and my mother it took years of me being out of the home and gaining a perspective. And as hard as that is, it sounds like you are a patient Godly woman who is ready to take on that task. It does get better, not necessarily perfect, but good and right and wonderful. I love to hear how perseverant you are! Such a nice post to read 🙂


Beautiful words about your prayer as a mother! Thank you for sharing this with us. You and your family are on our hearts and in our prayers!


she may not have your eyes – something tells me that in the years ahead she may develop your eyes. I ran a group home once for abused and neglected children – teenagers never get adopted – I think your teenage child couldn’t have picked a better mom – in time…in time…in time….your eyes…your heart…int time.

God bless you and each and every one of your Jamie!!


It’s ironic how our fears of not being loved create in us a desire to push those we love and those who love us away.

Please let Lindsey know that right now I’m praying that she sees that fear is a vapor, she is loved-God loves her-nothing changes that, and that he has sent a family to her to show her his love.

Wishing you blessings,

Dawn @ The Momma Knows

This is so great to hear! (er, read! lol) She will come to a time when she finally knows that her past doesn’t define her future, but it may take several more years. She expects what she’s always had, even though she knows (in her head) that you aren’t what she grew up with. She knows. But her heart is still learning. We had a foster daughter for 7 months (my daughter’s friend, who we were blessed to have placed with us, keeping her from being totally uprooted) and we encountered lots of head vs. heart struggles with her t00.… Read more »