Have You? Did You?


Oh Mama, you know you’ve asked a hundred times. And then hundred more. Did you brush your teeth, make your bed, feed the dog, put on socks, eat breakfast. The list of things we are afraid they will forget to do without prompting can seem endless. And it is. 

Are we asking them if they prayed? If they did their devotionals?

This morning I wondered if God feels the same way when He is trying reach through the noise to my heart.

My child, did you pray first? Did you remember Ruth, or Abigail, or Tabitha? My child , did you slow down enough to see Me in your own child?


What would happen if we put our Mom hats aside for a few days, told them we trust they are old enough to get dressed, eat and get ready for the bus. What would happen if we took those moments spent in reminding them of what they already know and taught them about things they don’t?

Things like when it feels like God isn’t answering your prayers, or when you don’t know what to pray for. Or when you can’t find the sunshine through your tears because of the bully behaving people, the dirty floor, the laundry that NEVER ends.

Letting our children, and our loved ones of all ages, see our faith in action is so important. Seeing us rest in Jesus. Seeing us struggle with the human things. Seeing us lose our temper, and ask forgiveness. See us reach out in grace to someone who is hard to like, let alone love. Seeing us pray, right there in traffic, for the homeless person or hitchhiker. Seeing us, right there at the drive-thru, buy a coffee for someone shivering at a bus stop on a stormy day.

Writing a letter to someone who never writes back, because they love to get mail, and being okay with God moving in their lives without us.

When they are getting ready for school are we talking faith in action, praying for school mates and teachers? For the bus driver? Are we teaching them to be faith in action without saying a word about their faith?

Living the fruits of the spirit seems so simple. Child-like even. And yet each one of them takes enormous faith to live. Not just do, with a hard heart. Not just say, with a nasty tone. To live. 

That list is pasted up, taped up and thumb tacked all over our house. Did you rest in faith? Did you answer in gentleness? Are you being longsuffering? Are you showing temperance? Where is your peace?

School, and life, is full of rules. Do this. Don’t do that. Don’t be like this. Do be like that.

God promised that, “…against such there is no law…” Galatians 5:22-23

If our actions, and our answers, came from the fruit of the spirit how different would our busy days be? How different would our responses and questions be? Would their faith be stronger from it? Ours would be.

We fail. We fall. We have to keep trying. Get up again Mama. Try again. They are watching for us to fail, and try again. How we show grace in failure is as important as grace in success, maybe more so.

Share your stories in the comments, and pray for one another. They are our most important job, let us hold up one another and encourage one another.

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7 Responses to Have You? Did You?
  1. Kari Scare
    February 24, 2014 | 8:35 am

    Learning to be more transparent with my kids has been a struggle but one well worth going through. My parents were not at all transparent, and I later learned they were very different than they appeared for so many years. That produced a trust issue I had to work though. I learned from that and don’t want my kids to ever feel they can’t trust me. There are so many people who will break trust; I don’t want to be one of them in their life.

    • Shanyn
      February 24, 2014 | 3:14 pm

      Kari – that is hard, when they aren’t what we thought. I know that can change how we parent too, in a good way. Thank you for sharing, and bless you for doing things differently and breaking the old habits and patterns.

  2. Dawn Paoletta (
    February 24, 2014 | 3:29 pm

    Good thoughts, Shanyn. I think we are called to live a life of faith, trust and hope in Christ in our homes and everywhere we are at any moment. We are on call 24/7 so to speak…thanksfully, God is able to complete in us that which He started. Believing He is able to that with those I love, well that is where the rubber hits the road for me…as in skid marks, STOP. Trusting Him when I can’t see fruit in those I love or worse, rebellion…yeah that stretches me, as a mom, as a woman and as a disciple. Growing in grace, in all of these.

    • Shanyn
      February 24, 2014 | 6:30 pm

      Stretches me too my friend, me too! But that growing in grace is what they see, and they see our love in it and through that His love. And it is ALL about HIS love! Bless you!

  3. Susan
    February 24, 2014 | 7:40 pm

    Dear Shanyn,
    This was such a blessing to read. Thank you.
    I have been trying to slow down and really concentrate on loving those closest to me, such as my family. As is says in I Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient and is kind” How difficult this is in the midst of family life!!
    Your post so beautifully reminds me to take the time to drink in his love to then be able to love others. Thank you for your encouragement and example.
    Bless you!

    • Shanyn
      February 26, 2014 | 5:41 pm

      That patience part is SO HARD, isn’t it? I struggle with it. And I know God smiles when He sees me wrestling when all I have to do is surrender to Him. And love them. Even when they are ______________. Love the especially then. Thanks for coming over, bless you my friend!

  4. The Orange Rhino
    February 26, 2014 | 11:04 am

    Thanks for sharing this with me! I love the notion of how about we teach them what they don’t know, instead of reminding them what they do know?! Very impactful and inspiring!