To be a Child… {and Counting Gifts}

I know what kind of mama I want to be.

You know the one from the paper towel commercial? Like that.

You can take a look at it here, later. Soak up life’s beautiful messes.

I do not always know how to be that mama.

I don’t dream any longer of being a Martha Stewart kind of mama,

or one who keeps all of life in nice and neat boxes.

Children don’t come in boxes.

Children don’t fit in boxes.

I know. I spent so many years trying, pushing and pressing them to.

They hang over the edge.

They pop their heads up.

They wiggle and giggle and spill out all over.

Ah, yes. I speak of control.

When I seek to control life, I vacuum life right out of us.

Life shouldn’t be vacuumed.

Powdered sugar should, after.

I am still learning.

I am still forgetting.

I am still remembering.

In raising a child, one of the most important things to remember, is what it is like to be one. <— Tweetable, eh?

Still counting… #667-691


This night owl learning to be an early bird — and enjoying it.

Husband who is there to gently clean up when my heart spills out all over.

Husband who doesn’t think I am a touch of crazy.

A week full of unexpected God-sized opportunities.

Seeking God and finding Him near.

Making it through the soft-start-week of our homeschool’s new year.

Meeting new people.

Sitting long with old friends.

Realizing the truth always prevails — even if it takes us a long time to learn it.

Being able to smile past loads and loads of laundry piled high.

Children who do their chores — without being asked.

Being able to embrace my calling, not just resign to it.

Jeff Goin’s new book.

Planners and books and papers and calendars and plans and PEACE.

Cousins acting more like great friends.

Beautiful messes.

Toddler that has us all chasing, all enamored.

Inspiration that comes in Olympian form.

Beautiful messes that remind me children don’t fit in boxes.

Loyal readers and faithful comment leavers that seem to know the very right thing to say.

The word of God that is always true.

The One who called me is Faithful…

And He WILL do it. 1 Thess 5:24

Yes and Amen.

  • Lori

    What a great reminder, for all of us Mamas….and the photos are awesome!!!

  • imperfect prose

    oh michele, i love this. i love the reminder that i don’t have to be perfect. i just have to be God’s child. to embrace life with child-like joy. and that last photo? award-worthy. what a beautiful post!

    • Michele-Lyn

      Thank you for taking the time out of your day to leave me such an encouraging comment here. You are such a gift to me and so many other women. Wow. Thank you for living your life the way you do!

  • [email protected]

    This post was a gift. Thank you for linking it. 🙂

  • [email protected]

    What a memorable post! This mama thanks you.

    • Michele-Lyn


      I wasn’t sure if this would go with your link-up, but God has used motherhood to shape and form me and teach me patient endurance, and by His grace I have been able to embrace it with joy. These pictures encompass this journey.

      Thank you for blessings me 🙂

  • Cindy Hamilton

    I love the pictures and the prose. So perfect! Children are very forgiving of our mistakes and mishaps in raising them. God must have programed that into them. I believe with all my heart, though, that if we raise a child in Christ, at some point in time in their ives, they will become a child of Christ.
    Loved your website!

    • Michele-Lyn


      Thank you! And yes and Amen to the truth you shared!

      Blessings to you,


  • [email protected]

    Yes, tweetable. Love this! Now let me figure out how to do that. Just click, right?! 🙂 These photos are absolutely precious and love your perspective!

    • Michele-Lyn


      Thank you for tweeting 🙂 Thank you for the sweet comment! You are always such an encouragement.

      Blessings to you,


  • Beth

    I’m so glad that you’re helping us to see that Christ cleans up the messiest of motherhood messes. Love the way you unfolded this post, Michele Lyn. Very powerful!

    • Michele-Lyn


      Thank you so much! What an encouraging comment 🙂

  • Stacy

    As always, visiting here made me smile. I wanna play in the sugar. 🙂

    • Michele-Lyn


      So sweet 🙂 Come play!

  • Jenni Mullinix

    Love this! What a beautiful reminder… Thank you.

    • Michele-Lyn


      Thank you 🙂

  • Mary Beth

    Such great timing for these. We’ve had an afternoon of refusing to nap. Every time I go in there, he pops his little head up and laughs at me! I suppose he just isn’t tired…

    Looks like your kiddos had great fun!!!

    • Michele-Lyn

      Mary Beth,

      Oh, we’ve been dealing with hard nap times with our toddler… I wonder where she gets her energy from 🙂

      Thanks for peeking in 🙂

  • Mary

    Michele-Lyn…I totally get what you were trying to say…and I agree with you 100%. Sorry I didn’t convey that in my first comment. I find it hard to let go of anything, but almost harder to let go of little things.

    This is really a great post! Maybe we can meet in person @ Allume.


    • Michele-Lyn


      Oh, yes and yes 🙂 I think I was trying to say — we journey together in this 🙂 Only by His grace can we find our way through. I am so glad He does not give up on us!

      You are always a blessing to me 🙂


  • Shelly Miller

    Love your pictures and the truth you shared in the last one, that you need to remember what its like to be a child. It’s hard to do sometimes isn’t it? And I no longer want to be Martha either. Trying to be more like Mary, staying on my knees at the feet of Jesus as He leads this life of mine. Thanks for praying for me today, I felt them.

    • Michele-Lyn


      I was thinking of Martha Stewart and didn’t even think of Mary and Martha. Yet, so appropriate and so true. It’s a daily reminder for this task oriented mama. God has be slowing transforming into a people-oriented one 🙂

      I am so glad I could pray for you, because of the status you shared. It’s what so great about being in community… I feel the love and prayers for you all so often.

      Blessings to you,


  • Kris

    Wonderful, beautiful reminder!! And these images?! Gorgeous…

    • Michele-Lyn


      Thank you 🙂 I think I might print out the one with words and put it on the wall — maybe a few walls 🙂

  • Wendy @ E1A

    Awwwwwww! Great photos! Really capture the moment… love what you wrote and also your thankful list.

    • Michele-Lyn


      Thank you for stopping by and saying so! Blessings to you,


  • Mary

    When I see that commercial I wonder if there is REALLY AND TRULY a mom out there that can do this?!? I love this post Michele-Lyn…and I GET it!


    • Michele-Lyn


      I know! I put myself in her shoes and wonder if I’d let that much water spray in my kitchen 🙂 I think I might just chase the kids outside and get them with the hose… haha. But the real point of me sharing this commercial and even this post is how I am trying to hold on the what’s most important while letting everything else go.

      Still working on that, here 🙂

  • Pam

    I’m searching for the right words as I’m typing this comment . . . your post, it’s so gentle and beautiful and oh so true! How many times have I tried to squeeze my boys inside a box they’re not meant to squeeze into? Too many times. To remember is the key. Thank you for nudging my memory today : ) And your gift list – love it!

    • Michele-Lyn


      I am still learning to hold on the what’s most important while letting everything else go. We journey together in this. God put amazing gifts in our full-of-life children – I don’t want to be the one to quench it. Do you know what I mean?

      Thank you for sharing with me here, in comments. It’s encouraging to me. 🙂 Blessings to you,


  • Lorneth Peters

    I enjoyed reading this post. We get so busy with our lives that we forget to life with our kids. Sometimes I have to leave the dishes and just laugh with my silly 2 year old. Thanks for such a great post. I am stopping by from titus2sdays.

    • Michele-Lyn


      Oh, thanks for stopping by. I don’t think I usually have visitors from Titus Tuesdays 🙂 I have a 2 year old girl. She is an expert at making beautiful messes 🙂

  • Elizabeth @wynnegraceappears

    Oh Michele-Lyn, the cry of my heart is to let go, enjoy, savor them, and love them. Letting go of control is so freeing!! But man did I hold on tight for a long long time. Your words are a beautiful balm to my spirit and I celebrate with you the messy memories and all of the precious moments. Thank you. This post is a celebration of life and family. Bless you as you release the worrying, right there with you, friend.

    • Michele-Lyn


      How do you do it? You always have something so beautiful and encouraging to share. You sound so genuine and heart-felt. Thank you for the taking the time to leave your comments here. I am humbled and blessed by you 🙂

  • Karen

    They are so stinkin’ cute! Precious memories that will last a lifetime. It always seems like the best memories always involve some sort of mess… memories are permanent.. the mess temporary and worth it. 🙂

    • Michele-Lyn


      Yes, yes and YES! I am learning more and more everyday 🙂 Thanks for letting me share the pictures! Your baby’s smile is just priceless!

  • Barbie

    Well, it’s about 11:30p here. Daughter having a slumber party and my nerves are shot. I am in tears with reading this post. I remember that commercial. I am so far from that mom. I compare myself too much, to other moms. I have to begin to celebrate the mom that I am. I want to be like a child, with eyes wide open, full of wonder, embracing life as it comes. Thank you for this post!

    • Michele-Lyn


      Oh yes! Let’s celebrate together — resting in being who God created us to be without worrying about so much “fixing”! Amen! I want to be like the child you describe — it’s like having “new life”, so refreshing 🙂

      Thank you for sharing your honest heart. Much blessing and grace to you 🙂