“I’m Going to Knock You Out”

Dear lady behind me at the copy desk at Staples with your precious and rambunctious, RED-HEADED, 5 or 6 year old little boy who was putting your mothering to the test,

You don’t know me nor do I you. 

And your son is adorable, but you must know I have a thing for red-heads.  

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Anyway, I noticed you today, though you may have assumed I only noticed him.  (He was a bit willful, energetic, and childlike.)

But, I noticed you were wearing a lanyard with a tag.  You must have been exhausted.  Probably stopping by on your way home from work.  Perhaps you’d just picked him up.  Your face seemed weary.  Your body weak.  Most likely trying to juggle multiple tasks in your head!  So much!! And I wanted to run to Starbucks and have them whip up something amazing just for you!

And him.  There he was just running about you and the islands in the store making loud noises and asking you dozens of questions.  I can only imagine how frustrated you were feeling.  (Maybe we can chat sometime about 10 or 40 of my ever-so-similar scenarios.) It’s so hard, isn’t it?

It was when you said, “If you don’t shut up, I’m going to knock you out and you won’t get a doughnut at all” that I remembered something that broke me when I yelled over crumbled petals and a zillion other things.  Because we all have.

It’s simply this:

When HIS Spirit is controlling my mind, I am filled with Life and Peace. And when His spirit is not in control?  You plug in the antonyms.

Our minds, dear mama, they’re “unruly.”

They choose the worst of guests to entertain. Our children often get our leftovers, and our spillovers when we’re at boiling point.  They’re needy and greedy and wear us thin. They hear words we’d never utter to a pastor, a boss, a neighbor, yet love us like none of them could, and gift us with hand-drawn mothers day cards that remind us we’re a little bit special and set a part.   



They’re like toothpaste.  So easy to squeeze out.  Almost effortless.  The aroma makes a mark, an impact.  It’s sticky!

And to put it back in the tube?  

We can never put our words back once they’re out.  

And that “sticks and stones” ode? It’s a lie.  

Because, “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing”~Proverbs 12:18


Sister, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body”~Proverbs 16:24  So, it’s ok that you’re exhausted and worn.  Beaten and hard-pressed.  Pulled and needed by so many.  It’s ok to let HIS spirit control your weary mind and fill you with Life.  It’s ok to think about toothpaste when you’re in the copy center checkout line at Staples.  

I was too shy to turn and hug you.  And you might have thought me a lunatic, but maybe we should worry less about what people think and allow the Life and Peace of HIS spirit to radiate everywhere we are.  

Cheering you on over here at the little house,



  1. Tracy Smith says:

    It really bothers me when I hear a mother (or adult) speak so harshly to a child. I was pumping gas last week and the car beside me had a (I am assuming) mother and child….they had just come out of the gas station to pay for their gas, when the mother spanked the child ( I am not against spanking) and told him to get his bleep in the car, and to never embarrass her again by asking for things he can’t have. The child was of course crying very loudly, and while I was listening to this I was praying for the child as well as the mother. We have all been in situations like this. I can’t count the number of times that my kid has begged for candy or other junk food in the store, and knowing that I didn’t have the money for that, I spoke harshly. I will say that I haven’t cursed at them, at least I pray that I haven’t. Those are the times that I have just quieted down and prayed that God would calm my anger and frustration, and speak words into my heart that needed to be said. Our children are such a blessing from God, we need to treat them like that!

  2. Renee Harrell says:

    Love, love, love this post! Thanks for the reminder. There’s not a mother alive who hasn’t been there! Going to share this with my small group! Love ya Girl!

  3. I can’t tell you how much you have ministered to my heart. Thank you! I am sitting here, my 3 year old and 5 month old are napping (thank the Lord), and I just needed some time to “recharge”. It’s been a rough start to the day, I’ve said a few things I regret…..then went to piddle on the internet….searching….then God, as He always does, met me where I was at. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing the Word. It has changed my heart. I have written down these scriptures and will post them on my mirror. Thank you again. I have never been to your website before, but now I plan on subscribing. It’s good to know I am not alone.

  4. This totally resonates. I saw a similar scene unfold at WalGreen’s. The children giddy, happy, touching every item on every shelf….when the mother cursed them all….and my ears stung along with theirs….and then my 4 year old daughter asked, “Why is that mommy speaking so meanly to her children:? And I wondered what happened to them all behind closed doors, when they left the stage of WalGreen’s if this was her “public” behavior. It made me shudder as i realized this mom may have learned those harsh words and attitude from her mothers…passing it down yet again to another generation……and my heart broke for the kids….and their kids.

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