real stories

“Tell me a story,” she says. The truth is, I have nothing. I’m storied out. I’m written out. I’m cooked out. And on that day, I was mothered out. But she crawled into my bed as I heard J tucking the boys in. And I saw it in her tilted head that lay content on my pillow, she needed conversation. 

“Just tell me a story,” she said again. She’s 12, too old for fables and thick board books. What she really wanted to know is the story of me. She asked of my teenage trysts. She wanted to know it all. Did I talk on the phone late into the night? Did I wear black mascara? Did I like boys at her age? When did I date? Did I ever come home late?  It’s a slippery conversation and I worried I’d slide off course by saying too much or too little.    

I told her of the time I forged my mother’s signature in middle school. I studied her P in Patsy and I curled it precisely at the top and rounded it off with a twisted y. I end the story by shaking my head, “I shouldn’t have done it.”

And she laughed, “Tell me another one!” Sadly, there’s an arsenal full. There have been many missteps and silly mistakes left littered over the years.

But if I teach her anything, this growing in God young daughter of mine, it’s that we need to be real in our faith. And the reality is that as her mother, I’m far from perfect, then and now. There is a constant clashing battle to ward off envy and discipline, love and forgiveness.  

 I can’t spend the rest of her childhood pretending that I have all the answers. So instead I tell her there is someone who does. He is all the things we can’t be on our own. And He waits for us to seek Him when we are full of life’s greatest joys and when we’ve been emptied and drained.

 And His love and pursuit of us is a story worth hearing over and over again.




16 thoughts on “real stories

  1. Amen, Amanda. First, your daughter is beautiful.

    Second, I have tears. Because right in this moment, I am mothered-out. I am drained. Every morning, I get up and have my quiet time, but I am empty already and it is only 12:30. Thank you for some encouragement, for filling my heart a little more.

  2. What a beauty she is. And how lovely that she comes to you for conversation — what a moment to cherish, even in your wiped-out, mothered-out mood. It’s so clear to me what a good mom you are — real and genuine and true. It’s beautiful to behold, Amanda.

  3. How beautiful you have blessed windows of opportunities to weave God’s goodness, wisdom and grace into the stories of your life and plant them in the soil of your daughter’s heart~

  4. I have to chime in too and say what a beautiful daughter you have! And you sound like a beautiful mother. I’m thinking the both of you are very blessed to have each other! 🙂

    Visiting from Jen’s place,

  5. *sighing deeply* I know this! When my daughter was 13 we went through the hardest stuff imaginable — life and relationships outside our knitting of home assaulted us from all sides. I was drained from caring for the 3 & 5 year olds, but nightly my oldest needed me simply to tell stories, be by her side, be authentic. It was the best investment of my time EVER. Gives us feather-light-burdens when we are laboring through when we trust him. Beautiful girl, beautiful truth you have — thanks for sharing (the doggy’s pretty darn cute, too)

  6. i love that she asks for stories! i have boys….but i do struggle with what to tell them of my past – i feel shame about a couple of high school years….

  7. and….where do you live? i live in a small nc town too. and i’m a teacher! i couldn’t get the email button to work or i would have messaged you in that way….

  8. Seriously, your daughter is a beauty. I hope that my daughter and I will talk the way the two of you did that night. I’m leaving here with a little encouragement, a little hope for that sometimes tenuous mother-daughter relationship.

  9. PS – I just read your bio and I love all your Chicken Soup credits! I have only one to my name,Twins and More (and plenty of others that didn’t make the cut), so now I adore you even more. Sorry to gush, but I thought that was cool. 🙂

  10. Amanda,
    She is beautiful and your are beautiful, and I don’t know why your stories about your daughter always make me weepy…longing to hold onto my eight-year-old a little tighter.

    Off to catch up here now that you are a regular poster again! Love it.

  11. My girls always wanted to talk late at night when I was tired. . . and it was always worth it.

    I love your honesty with your daughter . . . modelling real life . . . not fake spirituality.


  12. i LOVE this. so so powerful and she’s beautiful.
    honest, real, raw stories are the best especially because while they’re rough around the edges they do teach us to be honest about it all. this said from the girl who has been taught for far too long to shove it under the rug and is now learning to do the opposite.

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