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Let the children lead: lessons from a house of boys

As I sit down to write this morning I’m faced with a blank page. All I can think of is my boys. boyspolaroid

All of them.

Each day I am humbled and overwhelmed by the gift of men God has placed in my life.

My husband. A man so full of love for me. Who sent me a valentine love letter presenting his case for why I should choose him, above our three little boys, to win my affection.

Why he should be my valentine.

In it, he listed off reasons like: 1. he has a full time job, 2. is fully potty-trained, 3. can drive a real car…among many others. It was so sweet and simple and just….lovely. Among some pretty tough competition, he won. He is my valentine.

My three little boys. I am overwhelmed with the gift of being a mother of boys. I am sure I would feel equally blessed as a mother of girls, but I’ll never know. There’s just something about boys that God knew I needed. 

They are rough and loud and messy and crude. There is nothing that lasts longer or is funnier in our house than a potty-joke and with three boys {4 including dad} it can go on…and on… But there’s something about boys that is magical. They are the epitome of dichotomy.

Strong, yet sensitive. Serious, but silly. Stoic and entirely sentimental. Wild and gentle, antagonistic and fiercely loyal. Kind, loving, affectionate and sweet hidden beneath the rough exterior of a boy.

It is real. True.

This, to me, is love.

The strength of a boy who hasn’t let the harshness of the world break him. Who, despite heartache, loves and lives with his whole heart. Allowed to feel and think and dream and laugh and cry – all of it – THIS is a man.

The kind of man I want my boys to become. Grown versions of who they already are.

These boys, they teach me with their life.

When I’m crabby or short or frustrated or rude, they love me still. They are quick to forgive and hold no record of wrong.

They show me how to love. This family of boys. Growing into men. My valentine.

I never knew I could love this way. This strong. This true. This unconditionally, uncompromisingly.


They are my greatest lesson. My greatest teachers. My deepest love.

Today I honor the men in my life by reminding myself of all I have to be thankful. It’s not gifts or things or grand gestures at all. It’s the simple things. The daily things. The rhythm of life and it’s teaching us to love deeper, dream bigger, fly higher and believe stronger in the awesome power of God who uses all things, all circumstances, all heartache and heartbreak to make us better. Wiser. Stronger and braver than we were before. 

Whatever season of life you find yourself in – whatever heartache, trial, misfortune or loss – He has not forgotten you. He has not overlooked your circumstances or forgotten your prayers. He is faithful and He will see you through.

When you come to the edge of all that you are and don’t know what else to do, put on love. Let the children lead. 

Let them lead us with the things they know best: love, compassion, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, resilience and faith. THEY are our teachers.


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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Annie February 19, 2014, 3:36 am

    One of my most favorite posts. Beautifully said.

  • Debra Chapman February 19, 2014, 4:29 pm

    The “men” in your life sound amazing. I think you are all very blessed. 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

    • Tammy February 22, 2014, 5:33 am

      you’re welcome debra! thank you.

  • Krista February 21, 2014, 7:11 am

    Boys… we certainly are surrounded by them… and I couldn’t agree more! The longer I live with them, the more I appreciate their uniqueness – their separateness from how girls/women are – their strength. SO grateful we get to share the 3 sons experience together!

  • Tricia March 10, 2014, 8:23 pm

    I just found you the other day and am slowly making my way through your most recent posts. I almost stopped at the one prior to this, but am glad I didn’t? I’m mom to 2 boys, and this morning was a rough one…I needed this little reminder of my boys and a refresher of their dichotomy to see them in a ‘clean’ way rather than frustration. Thank you!

    • Tammy March 10, 2014, 10:03 pm

      I’m so glad you didn’t stop too Tricia! Welcome! God bless you & your wild, warrior boys.

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