Dear Boys


My Dear Boys,

You are a tsunami. A massive wave of sound, dirt, legos and crumbs, headed towards me with maximum destruction in mind. You have wreaked utter havoc on my life. You have annihilated my peace. You have tossed my career goals out the window. You have brought utter ruin to my waistline. Our bathroom is an unspeakable horror.


I am more than ok with all of the above.


In fact, I thank you for it, wholeheartedly.



Thank you, for ruining my life….so that I could have LIFE.


The stuff listed above …that is just the tip of the iceberg…..want to know what you really broke?

You broke my selfishness in pieces.

You shattered my vanity.

My pride? I don’t even know where you left it…but last time I looked at it, pride was gasping for breath.

Self righteousness?

My need to judge others silently in my head?


Oh sweet boys, I tucked those in jars years ago and hid them deep in the darkest crevices of my heart. You found them. You brought them out. You smashed them to pieces on the ground. The foul odor of them rushed up to greet me and I could not escape them. You stood there watching me, wondering what I would do with the mess you uncovered.


I looked in Bible and saw good and evil. I understood what sin was. But I never knew the depth of my sin, until I saw it reflected back to me from the blindingly bright mirror of my children.

Wether it was the morning at the museum when one boy let out an exasperated, “DAMN IT!” or when another scolded a toddler at the library in an all too familiar tone, “FOR PETE’S SAKE JUST SIT STILL FOR TWO MINUTES AND DON’T MOVE ANYMORE.” Or that time when I sat you boys down to discuss sharing the gospel with others and not a minute passed before one of you asked, “Do you do that too, Mom? I’ve never seen you do that to anyone.”


No matter how hard I tried to focus on you boys and your hearts and your upbringing, you always turned it around. Flashed the mirror in my face. Forced me to look at myself.


You forced me to surrender the ugliest parts of myself to Jesus.

Thank you.


When I graduated from college I had a few books in mind, things I would write and ways I would change the world.


I didn’t do any of them.


Instead of bringing change….I am changed.


When I tried to impress God’s words on your hearts, you turned around and impressed them on my heart.


When I wanted to parent you from a corner of fear and anxiety, you broke free and taught me to parent you with courage and bravery and trust in God.




and you….


and you….


and you….


Being your mother, is one of the greatest honors of my life.

If all I ever do is serve you.

Wash your feet.

Be brave alongside you.

Love Jesus beside you.


Well, thats more than I ever dreamed of.


Being my ugliest before you has led me to the beautiful freedom of grace and mercy—and that makes it all truly lovely.


This piece was written for our original blog Nest to Nest in April of 2013.

6 thoughts on “Dear Boys

  1. Elsie, You must know that this is absolutely going to go viral one day. Love you, friend.

    Sent from my iPhone



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