The Best thing of all–I am in love!

Funny, dramatic, encourager, thoughtful, highly convicted, thankful, sweet hearted, always thinking, spiritual, sparkling Joy.

I carry my cell phone around with me everywhere. Every time it buzzes or vibrates, I feel like a little girl, because I get so excited.

Faithful, insightful, dependable, creative, musical, composing, intelligent, loyal, affectionate, intelligent, gentle, always loving Joel.

Beauty-filled, tender, highly intelligent, artistic, articulate, faithful, spiritual, interesting, loving, thoughtgul, encouraging, friend, Sarah.

It’s not because I like phone calls–as a matter of fact, most of my friends who know me well at all know that I hate phone calls and I answer very few calls.

But I carry it around and get excited if says, “Sarah, Joel, Nathan or Joy” on the number that comes up.

Passionate, God-loving, funny, engaging, loyal, loving, highly creative, writer, idealistic, Superman, wonderful Nathan.

I sometimes get a little weary when people infer that we were somehow perfect or that I always knew what to do–or that in any way I did it perfectly.

But, not even sure how it happened, but in spite of the messes, fusses, selfishness and stress, we had a fun, feasting, celebrating life sort of time, loved deeply, seasons of testing and darkness and failures, times of great joy and accomplishments and love, lived idealistically and adventuresome, grace-filled and friend oriented life.

And they became, and are, my bestest friends. I almost feel puppy love for them. I would give up everything else-everything else–just to be able to have them in my life.  Next to Jesus, these give me so very much joy in life.

 Honest engine. I adore my children. They bring me meaning in life. They still love to talk to me–I feel so honored. 

They know all my limitations and still they love me–amazing.

I love to hear what they have been thinking. I want to hear their stories. I want to be their confidant. I want to share their tears. They give my life meaning. They give me a reason to be faithful when I am tempted not to be, because I love them so much.

I did not know it would be so, but somewhere along the way, I fell in love. 

So, tonight, after visiting with Joel over lunch and hearing his advice for a very difficult situation and feeling strengthened.

Tonight, sitting in the freezing car with Sarah,  in the garage after we got home from a meeting for 30 minutes, just because we were both sharing heart secrets and deep thoughts, and didn’t want to go inside;

Talking on the phone with Joy today for 45 minutes as fast as we could to catch up, since Tuesday, sharing events, stories, struggles, feelings,

and this week, working with Nathan on a project, hearing his ideals and ideas, knowing what he has been learning and learning from him myself, and always having reason to smile after talking to him–

I just didn’t know how I would feel, didn’t know how good it would be, but when God made me a lover sort of person who likes to have best friends, 

He gave me the best friends of all, my precious children.

And so tonight, I could not go to bed without acknowledging how grateful I am to be their mama and how grateful to God I am for each one of these funny, precious, wonderful companions in life, called my children!

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  1. Jen says

    When did you start feeling this way? Mine are still young (all under 12) and they mostly annoy me (boys have always annoyed me and I have four). I’m hoping I will have a change of heart, but right now I am not enjoying testosterone…

    • Michelle Clinton says

      Sweet Jen,

      Your comment continues to be on my heart. I have three boys under 12. When I found my heart feeling more annoyed than full of joy I began to pray, “Lord, please give me the love you have for these boys ~ or this boy at this moment.” It has been amazing to see the transformation in my own heart. Sometimes I marvel at the fact that my boys haven’t really changed ~ I’m the one who’s changed. Although, I must confess they do respond so much better to my love than to my frustrations and anger.

      Reading Sally’s books has been MAJOR in my mothering. Start with The Mission of Motherhood. Seasons of a Mother’s Heart is also one of my favorites for practicle ideas on finding joy in these crazy seasons of mothering!

      Much love friend,

      P.S./I grew up with sisters and when I dreamed of having children ~ I drew pictures of little girls and wrote out tons of girl names!! Ha!

      • Lydia says

        Thank you for your life- breathing words! I want to pray those words because I understand the annoyances of 4, young boys all together. It’s hard sometimes, especially if noise is hard for you to handle…that’s me! I have been single parenting my boys for 8 years now, and I don’t want to “just get through”; I want to experience joy in the process, so I am praying the prayer you mentioned and others, as well. The time does go by too quickly!

  2. says

    Finally! Someone who feels as I do about her children! I will speak to other women who discover I homeschool and say, “But how can you stand being around your kids all day?” in a horrified tone. Toward the end of school breaks my friends start getting glassy-eyed and moan over how they “can’t wait” for school to be back in session. I’ve never understood that mindset, for I’ve always enjoyed my children (I have five; from age 8 to 16). I like watching them develop into the people God wants them to be and I take seriously the mission He’s given me. I look forward to your season of parenting, when I can call them more friends than children! Thank you.

  3. says

    I JUST ADORE THIS POST!!! That is soooooooooo SWEET! I truly feel the same about my children! We are in this thing called life together – it’s such a blessing to have these precious people to walk along side with!!! (and yes- it’s NOT perfect, but it’s BLESSED! I am a fellow Pollyanna though…kindred spirit type!)

    THANK YOU! And God bless you and your family richly and abundantly above all that you could ask or think!

  4. Deb Weakly says

    You are such a fantastic Mamma!! I am so grateful that you encourage all of us Moms to love our kids more.
    Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us!!

  5. Keri says

    This was simply beautiful, Sally. Reading it brought me joy.

    I’m a homeschooling mom to 3 children (8, 6 and 4). As they’ve grown a bit older and I’ve grown more mature, my feelings of “puppy love” for them have grown too. God has given me appreciation for them as unique individuals and has helped me work through much of my resentment for their neediness. Now I truly miss them when they’re away from me (although as you can imagine/recall, when they’re still young, occasional mama breaks are also a necessary part of life… :-) )

    I pray that I’ll continue to be in love with my children and that when they are in their twenties, I’ll be able to write a blog post very similar to this one! Thank you for inspiring me — because of you, I know that this is possible!

  6. Tami Cooke says

    Hi Sally,
    I feel the same way. We were just discussing this a few weeks ago in our Moms group – I can think of no one else I would like to spend time with (except my husband) than my kids. I love, love, love them and think of them as my best friends already.
    Tami C.

  7. Judy says

    You say, “I’m not even sure how it happened…”
    I think a large part of the secret of delighting in our young adults is having delighted in them when they were small. And their sharing conversations still – seeds were sown in the heartfelt, patient listening long ago. But it is also always true that it is a surprising gift of grace that they love us despite ourselves.

    On this day when mourning for lost children reaches to the heavens, I am more mindful than ever what great gifts have been bestowed on us in the lives and friendship of our children.

  8. Kelly says

    That is so precious. I am blessed with three kids who love to talk to me and I often find myself hoping they still will once they’ve flown the nest. Hearing about your relationship with your grown kids delights me.

  9. amy says

    My little boys and I spent the evening alone b/c my husband-pastor is away at a very long hospital visit. They’re big enough now that decorating cookies with mom is ok for about 10 minutes, and then they’re off to do their own thing. When did that happen? ;) Yet they are still “little” enough to snuggle on my lap while we look at family pictures and video clips. This season always makes me think about things like this, and even though I cannot imagine them growing into tall man-sized bodies, I’m told they will! ;) I do hope and pray we will lay the groundwork well for good friendship come adulthood… :) Thanks for sharing your heart, Sally!

  10. says

    Oh, I SO understand! There are two names that appear on my cell phone that bring an automatic smile (and two iPad numbers bringing texts, those are from Elisabeth and David).

    Yesterday morning I awoke to a text from my son, asking if it was at all possible I could give him a ride for an important appointment. He knew I was going to be on campus, anyway.

    Of course, I said yes and was rewarded with a rare breakfast out with just Christopher (I love my daughter-in-law very much but mother-son time is still precious).

    We ended up laughing about how he and his sister and I can finish each others sentences and seem to know what each is thinking. His poor father still hasn’t figured that one out, Christopher says it has to be they have inherited my way of thinking… poor things.


  11. says

    Thanks for the encouragement today, Sally. My kids are 2, 4, and 6 and I’m homeschooling my kindergartener and preschooler, while trying to keep my crazy 2-year-old boy out of trouble! I needed to see the big picture since I’m down so deep in the trenches right now. It helps to remember that they will grow up one day and not be here, and also that I am living my chance right now to shape who they’re going to be. I forget that in the midst of the constant needs, requests, fusses, injuries, etc. I am praying for a renewed mind and heart…

  12. anuradha says

    After reading your post early this morning, every moment today seemed more intensely filled with joy with my sons. As they performed with their cello and violin at the christmas markets, struck up coversations with young and old, warmed up with hot crepes and sipped hot cocoa by the festive waterfront, I watched and laughed and clicked photos and soaked it all up with heart bursting gratitude. Thank you, Mrs. Clarkson. I have so needed your words in my life.

  13. Talia Nuckolls says

    Miss Sally,
    I have been wanting to ask you something for a long time. I’m reading Educating the Wholeheart Child and I read your blog. I love the grace filled gentle and intentional parenting that you encourage….it brings me peace and challenges me. In Educating the Wholehearted Child, so much is about example and routine. We want to keep our children home and I know that God will help us. I see so many of my own weaknesses (routine, being disciplined, etc.) and wonder IF I really am the best person for them to be with ALL the time. I am always grown and learning and praying but I will never be an organized person….I’ll always be more spur-of-the-moment, impulsive.
    So how do we teach our children qualities that we ourselves lack? Should homeschooling still be an option even if we feel we have more weaknesses than strengths?

    • Sally says

      None of us is perfect and we all have weaknesses. However, not being trained in housework or homeschooling or mothering, I just had to learn it all as I went. However, because my heart was in it, I learned as I went and got better and better and stronger and stronger and since my children looked to me as their mom, they didn’t know I didn’t know how to do anything before. I learned s I practiced it with them and I became stronger in the journey.

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