Bigger and Better

swingsTo My Four Favorite Kids in the Whole World:

Each of you are all on the verge of amazingly big things; entering adulthood, the college years, high school, and finally becoming a teenager.

I see you all pressing up against the sides of your world and pushing for a larger version.

Lately, you look so big bumping up against your childhood furniture and standing tall over stacked pencil-marks on the wall. I know you’re bored with what I offer and of the plans I make for you.

And I see that look in your eyes. The searching for more. The glazing over when I talk about what’s here and now. The squinting to see your future. I see it all, and I get it.

But I often want to reach up to your shoulders and shake you back to the past. Your future will be beautiful and thrilling but also cruel and demanding, and I’m picturing you small in it.

To be honest, sometimes I panic.

Because I know what’s ahead. You see, when you start to feel big enough and smart enough, it’s a sign that you need a bigger world. And God will always give you what you need. Even when your mom doesn’t want to.

He’ll lift the sky and deepen the caverns until you don’t feel so substantial. He’ll show you how much you don’t know and humble you with it. He’ll take you to new heights and depths until you see the dangers of both.


That means you’ll be asked to do things that’ll wreck your confidence. You’ll meet difficult and strange people and discover you’re an amateur at love. You’ll learn your need of nothing else but Him, and such learning is only done the hard way.

And you’ll know you’re on the right track if you feel just plain small.

Because that’s the thing about getting a bigger world. You’re not large and in charge anymore. 


I wish I could tell you it will be easy. I wish you’d always feel as sure as you do now. But I can’t. You won’t. You’re as ready as you’ll ever be and I guess I am, too.

Because my world’s about to change also. God doesn’t save that whole “lifting the skies” thing just for kids. As you are all growing over my head, He’s pulling my sweet, manageable world just out of my reach. I’ll have to learn new roads and a new way. And I’m scared, too.

But in my own growing-up years, I’ve learned something that will help the both of us…

The bigger my world gets, the better view I have of the God who blew it up. 

I made bigger mistakes and learned of a bigger grace.

My adult-sized hurts were met with a love that stretched to match.

I learned the posture of humility that allowed me to hear His voice louder, clearer, and whispering my name.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


You’ll find a place where your smallness will be perfectly countered by the greatness of Him. And there your restlessness will end. Until, that is, you start to feel big enough again…

As much as I don’t want things to change or for you to suffer… I want all of this for you.  

So kids, go ahead and make plans. Dream big. Lean into your future with hope. I will too.

Because we all know the God who’ll give us a bigger world and meet us there with an even bigger gospel of grace. 

Here’s to bigger and better –

Let’s do this,


PS  I love you

23 thoughts on “Bigger and Better

  1. Kathryn Shirey August 11, 2015 / 5:22 am

    Beautiful! How hard it is to watch our kids grow up and know they’ll have to learn their own lessons and some (many) of those lessons will be hard ones. My kids are still little and it’s already hard to stand by while they begin to learn about the world – yet I hope I can instill in them the lesson of God’s love and grace to sustain them through it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Brown August 11, 2015 / 5:35 am

      Kathryn- Give those little ones a hug today! Thanks for stopping by~


  2. Kelly Balarie August 11, 2015 / 5:41 am

    What beautiful encouragement Karen. You wrap your arms around our heart. Love this. Cheering you from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith, dear one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michele Morin August 11, 2015 / 5:55 am

    This is beautiful and SO full of truth. We really do stand on the edge of that precipice with our kids — knowing full well that God will meet them because He has met us, but cringing over how hard it is for them, and for us! You’ve said this all so WELL! I always enjoy reading your essays.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Brown August 11, 2015 / 6:06 am

      Michele- Yes! There is much cringing in motherhood. Thank you so much for stopping by- and for your encouraging words. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Geisen August 11, 2015 / 6:05 am

    This letter to your kids speaks such truth. What I liked the best is that our kids can stretch to the future and start yearning for what is next and in the process they pull away from us. But then you share that as parents we also move toward what’s next as our kids move away and it is just as scary and new for us as it is for them. I am in that place right now, Karen, and you described it well. Thank you for your words. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Brown August 11, 2015 / 6:07 am

      Mary- Thank you! May we both feel God’s peace in this changing time with our kids. Blessings to you!


  5. Christan Perona August 11, 2015 / 6:56 am

    I think this is the best thing you’ve ever written, Karen. Rich truth, incredible writing, fresh perspective. Score.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Brown August 11, 2015 / 7:27 am

      Thank you, friend. Your feedback means so much to me. lv u!


  6. Mary Dolan Flaherty August 11, 2015 / 7:45 am

    Beautiful sentiments. And you captured the essence of life really–how huge it is when we’re just beginning to test the waters, how much we think we know and realize only through trial and error that we don’t. Oddly, just about every blog today has quoted Jer 29:11 (including my own). I’m beginning to wonder if God’s trying to tell me something…ya think?! Loved your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ina Library August 11, 2015 / 12:09 pm

    What a sweet and beautiful love letter. This brought joy to my heart. You are an inspiration, Karen!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. betsydecruz August 11, 2015 / 5:12 pm

    What beautiful encouragement for moms whose kids are on the brink of something new! My son goes off to college in just one week. So this is a healthy reminder for me to step back and let him develop his own relationship with God.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ifeoma Samuel August 12, 2015 / 2:27 am

    These are moments that will surely come. When our kids leave and we become an empty nester.
    Well written and quite touching my friend.
    Thank for this!
    Sweet Blessings to you


  10. susieteramura August 12, 2015 / 6:25 am

    This is beautiful and so meaningful to me this morning as I am in the midst of packing two of ours up for college- 😦 It is rough!!! and so good to think on all you have shared here! Thank you! 🙂


  11. Linda Stoll August 12, 2015 / 6:31 am

    If I was your kid, my heart would be touched with your compassion, love, and common sense.



  12. Christi Gee (@ChristiLGee) August 12, 2015 / 6:52 am

    Oh, my friend! This is so spot on. I have seen these same looks in my kids eyes (and before they moved out, which I determined was God’s grace to me to not miss them so much :)))) You are a master writer and I saw myself and my kids in your words and was so touched. Thank you for the gift of seeing what is in my heart through someone else’s page. That’s incredible!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Brown August 12, 2015 / 7:01 am

      Thank you so much for these kind words, Christi! May we both rest on God’s provision for our kids.


  13. loisflowers August 12, 2015 / 10:04 am

    Karen, did you know it’s hard to read through tears? Every word of this resonates deeply with me, especially this: “And God will always give you what you need. Even when your mom doesn’t want to.” Most of the growth in my own life has come in adulthood, through experiences and seasons I would never have chosen for myself. It makes my heart ache to know it could very well be this way for my girls, and yet, I trust that God will always give them what they need too, even if it’s not what I might choose for them. You are a wise mama and I’m so glad you shared these thoughts with us today!


  14. Tiffany Parry August 12, 2015 / 11:54 am

    So beautiful, Karen. You touched my heart and perfectly captured that balance we struggle with as moms – wanting them to experience all God’s goodness, but wanted to protect them from the big, wide world. Life isn’t always smooth – but its amazing to be able to take the lessons God has so graciously taught us and pay them forward. Your children will rise up and call you blessed.


  15. Molly August 12, 2015 / 1:58 pm

    Such perspective. So much wisdom. Great words for me as I watch my boy learn to rely more on the Lord & less on his Mama to be with him all day…


  16. Kristin Hill Taylor August 12, 2015 / 2:20 pm

    This is beautiful. Such wisdom about change here – and it was so good for my heart. 🙂 Thanks for sharing it at #ThreeWordWednesday.


  17. hopeful50 August 12, 2015 / 2:37 pm

    Because we all know the God who’ll give us a bigger world and meet us there with an even bigger gospel of grace. Yes! Beautiful post. Returning the visit and so glad I did!


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