Becoming a Gold-Mining Mom

Today I have a devotion on Crosswalk and at Proverbs 31 about the day I almost quit being a mom. It was a really hard day. But it really was the day I started “becoming” the mom I always wanted to be. One thing I learned is that I couldn't become that kind of mom until I understood God's perspective of me as His child.

When I finished writing in my journal that day, I sat down to do some work and happened upon a story about Andrew Carnegie that completely changed my perspective as a mom and as a child of God. Andrew Carnegie was the wealthiest man in America in the early 1900s, so wealthy that he employed over 42 millionaires. When asked how he developed these men to become so valuable that he would pay them that much money, Carnegie explained that “men are developed the same way gold is mined. When gold is mined, several tons of dirt must be moved to get an ounce of gold, but one doesn’t go into the mine looking for dirt — one goes in looking for gold.”

Zig Ziglar tells this story in his book, Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World, and then challenges moms and dads to look past their children’s mistakes and mine for gold in them, fully convinced that every child has gold hidden in their hearts just waiting to be discovered.

I was buried in the dirt that day. I felt like a failure as a mom. I was discouraged and so disappointed in myself. And I was convinced that God felt the same way about me. Then I started wishing I had a "gold-miner" in my life who would see beyond my mistakes and mishaps and find the gold in me. I almost inflated some black balloons and threw a little pity-party.

It was then that I sensed God whisper to my heart, "I am that Gold-miner." He reminded me that I was the one who was being so critical of myself. I was the one who was so focused on what I didn't do right. I felt like He whispered, "Renee, I see the gold of My image in you, and I want to bring it to the surface in your heart so that your kids could see Me in you."

He also reminded me of stories and verses in the Bible that tell me He sees beyond who I am to who I can become. I knew this was God speaking because I didn't think like that 10 years ago. I didn't believe Him in an instant, either. No, it would take time for me to really let those truths sink in. But that day He used His thoughts to give me a new perspective of Him, and of myself. Then He challenged me to look for ways to have that same perspective with my children.

As a mom, it’ so easy to get buried in the dirt of discontentment, disobedience and mommy discouragement. That day I wondered: where is the gold in it all?

But after reading Ziglar’s challenge and hearing God challenge my heart, I thought about the difference it could make for my children to know I was intent on finding the gold within them. I wasn’t sure what the gold would look like but I figured if it was there, God could help me find it. So, I asked Him to show me and then I started writing down my thoughts. Two things came to mind - golden attitudes and golden actions.

I made a column for each and listed character traits like kindness, obedience, honesty, thankfulness, and compassion. I decided to look up Bible verses that tied in with the traits and wrote them down beside each one. Those not-so-golden traits needed to be addressed too, so I made a column for the dirt that buries the gold - anger, selfishness, whining, arguing, jealousy, pride, etc.

That night I went to bed thinking about what happened that day. For the first time in months, I was excited about my role as a mom. I felt like God was telling me to take my eyes off of my children’s habits and focus on their hearts. Finally I felt like there may be some meaning in the monotony! I had a goal and hope for some progress as a parent. Tomorrow I'll share more. For now, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Copyright 2009, Renee Swope - All rights reserved.


Today's Mom Give-Aways

Today we are choosing winners from the comments and giving away two D6 mom resources - a copy of my "Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child Chart and CD and George Barna's "Revolutionary Parenting". We'll be giving away gifts every weekday, so be sure to come back for more mom encouragement and resources from D6 and Proverbs 31 Ministries!

To be part of today's give-aways, click on the words "comments" below this post. I'd love to know how old your kids are, and PLEASE include your email in your comment so we can get in touch if you win!


Blogger Joyful said...

Renee, loved your devotional today. It reminded me that not only with our role as a parent do we often have to come to the end of ourself to give that full surrender to God, but it has to happen in all areas of our life - so even those reading this without children could relate to that example.

I am so thankful for others who searched for gold in my life. Mining for gold takes time. There can be days when it feel futile because none is unearthed, but that doesn't mean it isn't just is buried deeper. Gold is always worth the effort to find it. We just have to keep digging. The treasure will be worth the time.

Praying for you as you fly to Houston today. May the Lord give you His peace that passes understanding as you look forward to tomorrow. Wish I was there too!

Love, prayers and hugs,

Blogger chegwin1955 said...

I'm at home at the moment, ill in bed and looking after my granddaughter while my daughter is at work. I feel ill, discouraged and an awful failure. I just read your post and God spoke to my heart. I was born in the same town as Andrew Carnegie! I need our 'Gold Miner' to dig away at my dirt, before I can begin to dig at that of my children - who are all grown up but still live close but are all unsaved. Thank you, and pray for me to keep close while God 'digs' at my dirt to find the gold inside me. Blessings

Anonymous Michele said...

Wow! I sure needed that! I woke up at 4am thinking about my role as a mom and decided to finally get up. I read the devotion for today and I needed it! I have a very strong-willed child and it is hard to find the gold that I know is somewher inside of her. Thanks!

Blogger Lisa said...


Thank you for your P31 devotional as well as your story of what happened next. I needed the reminder that I am the one being so self-critical. I also needed the reminder that my children need to see God in me.

I have five children; my eldest just turned twelve and my youngest is four. I homeschool them and I have to admit there are times I want to turn in my pink slip! Mining for gold - an easily remembered metaphor of what we're really doing. Thank you for sharing that story as part of your own.

Lisa White

Blogger Susan said...

Renee, thanks for your devotion and your blog today. Each day has been so fulfilling for me. Have a safe trip!

Blogger Jennifer said...

Renee, Thanks for your encouragement, it was just what I needed today as I have often been feeling like a failure lately. We are currently living with my inlawas and have been for the past 6 months while we are waiting for our home to be built and this has been a hard adjustment for all the kids...ages 8,6,4,1 complete with lots of acting out. We are all used to having schedules, plans, and strict rules but that just isn't possible when you are often living with 14 people and a dog under the same roof. I certainly understand my kids' behavior with all the difficult circumstances right now, but there is LOTS of moments for me to feel discouraged as a result. Thanks for your reminder today that I'm not on my sure feels that way a lot!

Blogger Janet said...

I "stumbled" onto your site from Crosswalk - I feel like it was an answer to my prayers. I have three boys - ages 15, 13, and 10. I have been in turmoil over my youngest son, Noah. He is very emotional and seems angry about everything. Whenever anything doesn't go the way he wants - he says that I hate him. God has shown me that I just need to keep reaffirming my love for him. My prayer is that God would help him to perceive my love and His love. To have the idea of mining for Gold is great! I'm so thankful that God sees the Gold and reminds me daily of His love for me. Being a mom has been more complicated and difficult than I ever could have imagined! Thank you for the encouragement!
Choosing Hope,

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding me to stop being so critical of myself. I don't want to turn into a critical mother! My desire is to encourage the good, loving, obedient behavior that I do see in my 2 year old! Thank you!

Blogger Pamela said...

Renee, thank you for sharing these words today and I thank God for leading me to your story. I was sitting on my couch TRYING to concentrate and stay focused on God. I feel so disconnected from Him right now and it feels so lonely. Each devotion this week has reminded me that God NEVER leaves me or forsakes me, but why can't I hear Him anymore?

History. My children are all boys, ages 7,6 and 5. My husband and I struggled with 3 miscarriages and 4 unsuccessful intrauterine inseminations before God revealed His Amazing Plan A of adoption to us. Our first two boys are bio brothers from Russia and our third child is our Asian angel from China. He has special needs and will need major reconstructive surgeries this year.

God has blessed us with these amazing children, but each day I question why He chose me to be their mother? I feel so incompetent and wonder how all the other super moms keep it all together. Many encouragers lead me books they have read on parenting, but WHO HAS TIME TO READ??? Sorry, but my few moments of quiet time include a quick devotion and prayer.

I feel guilty complaining because God has blessed us so!! I love my children and my husband and I want to give each of them my best every day. I want them to see Christ in me each day but I seem to fail each day.

Joy, your comment reminds me of Isaiah 45. "I will go before you and level the mountains,I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD,the God of Israel, who summons you by name."

There is NO DOUBT in my mind that God called us to bring our children home. Please pray for me as I struggle with parenting issues and pray that God will send someone to me and help me discover my own gold. I know that it is there, but my own insecurities keep me blinded.

Sorry this is so long and thanks for "listening".


Anonymous kimann said...

God knew I needed just this for today. I do feel like a failure as a mom and very desperate and discouraged that I am the one burying my children in the dirt instead of mining for the gold. We just moved cross country one thousand miles 4 weeks ago to a cold climate and left all of our dear friends and church family behind. I hardly slept at all last night and ended up having a nightmare on top of it. I so want to mine for gold in all 5 of my children's hearts and for them to become all that God has created them to be. (L-almost 10, S-7,
G- 5 1/2, T-almost 3, and D-almost 5 months. God's blessings to you for the encouragement you give to others.

Anonymous Betsy said...

Thank you for your encouragement. I love reading your blog. I am a mother of two girls, 3 and 6.

Blogger Sonya said...

Oh what a wonderful thought of mining for gold! At this time, I'm really covered in dirt & mud. I homeschool my 3, ages 12, 8 & 6, & yesterday was just awful w/ the oldest. I was ready to push her out the door to PS. It breaks my heart... to even really consider it. DD is not a bad kid, just needs a new heart a'tude concerning responsibilities.

I'm going to check the library for the books that you mentioned. I need a "nugget" or two.

Thank you for the devotionals at PR31. I look forward to starting my day with you all!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

God's timing is incredible (as usual!), today's devotional could have been written just for me. It is 10:12pm here in Australia right now and I have just had a 'covered in dirt' day. I have a 2 year old and a 5 and a half year old - both boys. I 'gave-up' and 'quit' numerous times today, but I'm still here, hoping and praying that tomorrow will be 'gold'. It is wonderful to read or talk with others and to know that I'm not alone in feeling this way, and I am not the 'failure' I feel like on days like this.
Thank you for your great devotionals,

Anonymous Anonymous said...

God always leads me to just the right message to sooth my heart -- and today it's yours. Thank you for being so open and honest about your struggles. It helps many to know they are not alone.

I had a tough day yesterday with my 10 YO son. He was defiant, sullen, angry and abusive all day long. I felt like a parental failure because my child had this attitude. Your analogy of dirt and gold helped me remember that today is a new day to start looking for that gold in my child and to be patient enough to brush away the dirt to find it.

Thank you!
Prayers for safe travels and a beautiful relationship-filled experience,


Anonymous Dorie said...

Oh, how I can relate to your devotional and blog. I am a mother of 3 girls (6,4 and 19 months) with another baby due in 5 weeks. I have said the "I quit" and "I can't do this anymore" words more often than I'd like to admit. Thanks for encouraging me to look beyond myself and see the God who sustains me, loves me, and gives me strength. It's a journey and a process, but with Him all things are possible.

my e-mail is

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 10 year old son who is homeschooled and a 2 1/2 year old daughter who loves learning right along side big brother. I too at times have flet like turning in my pink slip. This post really toched me and gave me new hope that I can do this job. Thank you for the inspiration.

Blogger Sara said...

I really needed to hear this today. We have a 3 1/2 and a 5 1/2 yr old. We are struggling through some anger and sensory issues with our oldest. At the end of most days I am left feeling discouraged and like a terrible mom. I often question why I deserve to have these children when I don't seem to bring out the best in them. Thank you for your words of encouragement and for the challenge to find the gold in my children. I hope to start enjoying being a mom every day as I set out on this journey.

I just joined Proverbs 31 and followed the link here.

I love how God always gives me a devotion that I need for that day.

I have two boys who are 16 & 14 yrs old.

Blogger Lynn T said...

Thank-you for your much needed encouragement today.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog hits me at a time in my life where I too have been feeling the strain of being a 'good'mom. I am a mom of 4, two daughters ages 11 and 5; and two step-sons ages 10 and almost 9. I have been the full-time mom of 4 for almost three years now. It has been a blessing, but at the same time it has been a very rough road. We have battled finding out if my (almost)9 yr. old step son has Autism, or a learning disability along with finding out if his brother has a 'tic' disorder. Thank God for grace and patience and blessing us with the finances that I am able to stay home and work with my children, go to school part time, and work with our youth group at church!
Thank you so much for sharing your heart, it has trully blessed me this morning and given me a positive outlook on the day!
Natosha Sturgill

Renee, your devotion is so timely for me. I have an 11, 8 almost 6 and recently adopted 2 year old and boy do I feel like a failure. Your words have helped me change my perspective. I love the Psalms 19:35 verse in the P31 devotional. It will now be added to my daily prayer.
Thanks for your blessings - Monica

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your devotion today! WOW! Does it hit home! As a homeschooling Mom, I have those thoughts often. Next time I'll look for the "gold"!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your daily devotional via email. It really challenges me to step up. Todays devotion about mothering really struck home. I have 4 boys (16,14,13,12). They are all great kids but there have been times that the shear volume, sound and number, can make my mothering quite a challenge. You want to give them all attention for the GOLD but there are times when the DIRT gets more attention. Thanks for reminding me that God searches our hearts for the gold and pushes the dirt aside as we should do for our children. I have seen some great glimmers of gold in my children and sometimes that is what I choose to ignore. Starting today I will celebrate all those glimmers. Maybe as I celebrate, the gold will become more revealed and the dirt will fall away!!!! I AM GOING FOR THE GOLD!!!!!!! mE

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful devotion!
I have two daughters ages 8 and 9.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could really identify with the devotion today. As a mother of five, (ages 7 months, 2 yrs, 6 yrs, almost 9 yrs and 11 yrs) there are many times that I have thought I couldn't handle all of this. However, God has reached down and given me the strength to keep going.

Jamy (

Blogger Maria Katina said...

Thanks God that I read you today! I have two children: a beautiful three-year-old girl who is Mikhaela and a two-weeks-old baby boy called Samuel. This is so new for me. I really would like to feel that I am giving each of them my 100 % but instead I feel I am sharing my self wih them and not in a fair way. Mikhaela wants to play with me but her brother demands a lot of my attention changing the diappers, nursing, ... Sometimes I am tired beause I don't sleep straight all night long I just want to take a nap but she doesn't she just wants to spend some time with me and I love it but I can hardly find the strenght. I want to be the perfect mother. I feel really bad when I realize that I have spent most of the day saying: Mikhaela don't do this don't do that, you are not behaving your self, etc I just want to find the gold as you wrote in your article and encourage her every day, bolding her best things, teaching her how much God loves her through the love my husband and I give to her and her brother with facts not only words. I want our home be a place full of harmony and peace and this is possible only with the presence of God so I want to be the one who invites God every day to stay and I learnt today the only thing I need to do is to surrender and He will lead me to be the mom He wants me to be.

Blogger - Brenda - said...

Renee, thanks so much for your words of encouragement. I just woke up and felt like "here goes another day". Even though I know God has awesome things planned for my children, it's sure easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day monotony. My children are 11, 9 and 7 and my 7-year-old is the one that we really struggle with. He is ADHD/ADD and some OCD thrown in there as well, so each day is a challenge and a struggle. Thank you for reminding me to call on God and not to do this on my own.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your devotion this morning and I do not believe that it was by accident. I have reached a point in my life where, for right now, I have time to really reflect on the kind of mom I am and have been for the past ten years. I have two boys, ages 10 and 8. My oldest suffers from ADHD and it has really burdened my heart in the past few months. Added to the fact that we have recently relocated to a large city from a small rural area and taken him from the only place he has ever known, I have felt discouraged. God is really showing me through His word that he will sustain me through this time. Thank you for the encouraging words. I will lift your ministry up in prayer today!

Blogger kimann said...

I already posted a note today, but I realized that I am a few days behind in reading the devotions. I really needed the verse about God being my shield and protector and giving me victory. I feel like today is a new day and that I can begin to change today how I parent our children. It is amazing how quickly God answers prayer. I feel like a different person than 15 minutes ago. Praise God!!! (L-almost 10, S-7, G 5 1/2, T-almost 3, and D-almost 5 months.)

Anonymous Lisa V said...

I take such comfort that we as Moms are all in this together. I really do. Wow, ladies, we have the HARDEST job in the world. So many times what gets me through when I'm ready to hand in my "pink slip" is knowing I'm not alone in this and then I remember whose Arms I belong to. And at the same time I say to myself His grace is enough to get me through today. I could get very overwhelmed thinking what lies ahead for me as a Mom as I've learned from you all. Since I have a 2 1/2 year old son, I know there is quite a long road ahead of me and oh so many challenges lie ahead to raise my boy.

Lisa V in NJ

Blogger Thankful Daily said...

Truly needed to "hear" that one. I am a parent of a teenage son, almost 15, and an elementary age daughter, almost 6. I intend to do some intense thinking and searching, with God's help, into "mining for gold" in my children's hearts. My daughter has been diagnosed with pediatric bipolar disorder so is a daily challenge. My son feels so left out sometimes. I do feel like such a failure at times and there have been so many times that I questioned God about giving these children to me. I have never been sure I'm up to this particular challenge. Being raised by a bipolar mother, not a lot of mining for gold was done in me. What a new and delightful way of looking at things. Thank you so much.

Blogger Nana said...

I don't usually comment on these sites, but the Lord has lead me to do so. I am a mom of three beautiful daughters. These "babies" are 32, 28, and 25. I had those times where I wanted to quit. I actually went on "strike" once. As moms we want to do everything right and be those super women God never intended us to be. I wish I knew about the gold mining in my day. The wonderful thing is that now I have grandchildren and a way to help my daughters not make the same mistakes. I was not totally committed to my Lord back then. At 52 I finally have committed my entire life to Him.

Being in such a wonderful place with my Lord and seeing my grandchildren growing up knowing Him and lifting their little hands in praise is amazing! As grandparents we too can help find the gold in those babies. What a pleasure and honor to have a second chance to do it right.

My daughters teach Sunday school for the little ones at church and are active in Upwards basketball, the Lord has brought out the gold and broken some cycles that were painful and hurtful.

Thank you for reminding me that as a grandmother, I too can help search for that gold and guide my daughters away from the "Super Mom" complex. It is only with our Lord's help that we can become excellent in any area of our lives.

It took me a long time to even think there was gold in me and now the Lord has blessed me with a gold mine in my grandchildren, and a knowledge that I too am gold in His sight.
Blessings to you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I read your devotion and it was exactly what I needed today. My oldest son has been a super challenge lately and I've gotten to the point of just throwing up my hands. The pink slip sounds good too. I don't know what else to do. I'm at the end of my rope. But I realize that is usually where God is, right there waiting at the end of my rope. You made me realize that I'm probably talking a lot about the dirt these days. I know the gold is there. I've seen it, but I'm not mining for it. I'm too focused on all the dirt. I would love more information on how you did it. Did you talk with your child about gold character and gold attitude or was that something just between you and God that you prayed about. Parenting is really hard, but its so hard because we care so much about how they turn out. A group of my friends are going out tonight to your event. My hubby is out of town this week so I couldn't go, but I can't wait to hear about it!!Blessings to you!

Amie (ages 8, 6, 4, 2)

Anonymous Gretchen said...

Great "goldminer" message. It has really made me
mindful of the job that I am called to do and continue to do. It is a timely message not only for those with
young kids but for the teenager as well. My kids are
14,17 and 18.
It is also a beautiful picture of God's patience and love for us- his diamonds in the rough!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so good. I think mining for gold not only applies to our children, but the other people in our lives, too. What if we mine for gold in our husbands? Seeing his heart, and not his faults? Seeing the amazing way he fathers his children? How about the people we come in contact with every day? Instead of being judgmental about people, find a good quality to thank God for...maybe even tell that person about the "gold" you see in them. Give a boost to their day.

This devotional has really inspired me with my children! It's true that we get so bogged down with the monotony of the day-to-day, that we miss the flecks of gold that shine through our children at various points throughout the day. If we thank God for those, and really look for them, how encouraged we'll be throughout the day!
Thanks you!!

Blogger Sara said...

This message came at a crucial time for my family. We are a blended family - my husband has three, I have one - and we are struggling to find a way to combine what was two separate parenting styles into one. There has been a lot of stress in our house and hurtful words spoken. We all need to dig through the dirt to find the gold. I need to take the time to work on myself, and become the mom I want to be so that I can guide these children into becoming the adults I want them to be.

Thank you for your words. I am hoping that they will help me to work on myself and create a better home for my family.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a mom of a five year old boy. My son is great when he wants to be and ignores me when he wants to. I see where he will listen to my mom and his dad but when it comes to me it is a different story. I would love to know more about getting my son to listen to me. I have tried time outs, spankings, taking things away from him, etc. Thanks for sharing your story with me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your devotion today (1/21) is sooo needed today. I have a 3 year old and a 4 year old. They are only 12 months and 13 days apart. When my son Levi was about 4 months old, I got pregnant with my daughter Daphnie. I told people that God had a sense of humor when I saw the horrified looks on their faces at the fact that I had one baby in my arms and another one in my belly. The first set back I had was when I brought that beautiful redhead home and I realized that my one year old could walk and act silly and be so much fun and this other "new-comer" just laid there and did nothing but cry and poop. I wondered how I would ever love her as much as I loved my first born. Slowly God revealed to me all that this beautiful girl had to offer (especially how much fun it is to have your own live baby doll. As my children started growing, I thought that twins must be much easier...after all, they wear the same size clothes, eat the same foods, sit in the same car seats, and generally entertain each other but soon, once again, God revealed to me that I had so much to learn as well as, my son was like a miniature teacher to my daughter. He was so devoted to showing her how to walk and talk and draw on everything. I have enjoyed being a mom although I do have to work outside the home for financial reasons. I love the weekends and I love the times when they act so silly. Some days, I have to search for their "GOLD" but most days, I end up looking for my own. My children are such good companions to each other and they keep me laughing all the time. Thank you and all the P31 girls for encouraging me each day...I truly think it helps me be a better mom and wife. God uses you to touch the lives of many! Thanks again, Autumn Bailey (Reidsville, NC)

Blogger Faith's Mom said...

Your devotional really spoke to me. I have three grown sons and a grandaughter. We were not Christians until much later on our boys lives. We have recently been blessed by God with a beautiful little girl adopted from China whom we named Faith MeiLi (Faith for obvious reasons & MeiLi means beautiful and strong, which many think is meant in the worldly context but we want her to be beautiful and strong in the Lord!). Anyway, not only are we desperately desiring to parent God's way but we are also facing the challenges of facing our daughters abandonment issues and the issues of life in an institution/orphanage for nearly three years. I so want to be the Godly Mom who helps her to see herself the way that God sees her and I so want to reflect Christ to her. I feel overwhelmed by the task and I KNOW that I can't do it but that God can. I really needed your words today and God knew that. Thank you for your honesty and your faithfulness in sharing your heart with us other Moms.
May God abundantly bless you and your family,

Anonymous Adavee said...

This was exactly what I needed this morning! Thank you so much for sharing your story. My children are 2yrs. and 1yr. Days are very busy but I just need to remember that there is gold that needs to be found and made beautiful. God bless.

Anonymous Amy said...

Thank you for your encouraging words this morning. I am a parent educator, play therapist, and a mom of a really cool 8 year old boy. I work with many kiddo's (and families; many of whom are Christians) covered with dirt. At times, I believe I may be the only person who is trying to find the gold which can become difficult when working with frustrated teachers and other institutional workers who only see the dirt. I thank you for letting so many mom's know the importance of putting aside one's earthly eyes and desiring to look through His eyes. I am glad he saw through MY dirt and is willing to CONSTANTLY chip through it to reveal the gold!
Thank you for your thoughts this morning. This info will DEFINATELY be passed on!


Blogger pld said...

God's timing always amazes me! Just this morning I e-mailed a friend, asking her to pray for me, for parental wisdom for my husband and myself, for 1 of our 5 kids in particular. We homeschool them all, but this particular daughter is the one that could make me raise the white flag! I too, have such a huge desire to be the woman, wife, and mom that God has called me, AND EQUIPPED me to be. Thank you for this devotional, and I'll be anxiously awaiting the next installment!

Anonymous K Reader said...

Thank-you for the reminder. My children are now 27, 25, 21 and 13yrs. I am constantly reminded that they are all created differently--yet by an Awesome God, Who loves them more than I do and has a "purpose and a plan" for each. At this point, I am beginning to see His plan in their lives--but remember too, the days of discouragement, exhaustion and the "give-up" attitude. He always gave strength, courage and insight when I sought Him for wisdom. He reminded me that "He is God and I am not". All that they are today is by His grace and to His glory.

Thank-you for this ministry.
In Him,
K. R.

Blogger Mary said...


I loved this devotional. I'll definitely be reading your blog regularly. I read your devotional at Proverbs 31 today and decided to check out the blag. I was blessed by both messages today.

Thank you so much for sharing yourself and talking to me right where I am at this week. I have a 5 yr old and a 3 yr old and it's already been a looong week.

Instead of turning in my own pink slip, I'll be looking for gold this week. Thank you again!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although your devotions are powerful, I am reminded that our God is the Almighty One. Thank you for taking the time to share and reminding us all that we are all matter the situation. I am blessed to have two very wonderful children who have hearts of gold - I certainly don't want to cover them with dirt.

Lori J

Blogger Holly L. said...

I'm really enjoying your blog. My daughters are four and two. On the P31 I too often feel like everyone else has it together. The sounds of another kid having a fit in the store makes me empathize with the mom, but brings a bit of joy that I'm not the only one!
I too feel failure when my four yr old says no, and refuses to listen. It feels like I spend most of my time disciplining and its tiring. But I see the woman she could become. I pray daily that God will give me the wisdom to raise Godly women.
Thanks again for your commitment to writing it so often is what I desperately need to hear.
God bless

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement. I have a 12 year old son and 7 year old daughter. My mother and sister both have the patience of Job and I feel like I'm lacking in that area. I have prayed for more patience from day one and never felt like God was answering my prayer. I kept thinking what was wrong with me??? Finally, one day someone told me God was not going to "hand" me patience, but offer opportunites for me to be more patient. It was a wake up call for me and it made me look at things in a different perspective. Your comment about looking at our children's heart and not their bad habits was another one of those profound statements. They are children of God just like I'm God's child. He has been so patient with me and his mercy and grace is endless. I should look at them in the same respect. Children are truly a blessing and it is my greatest desire to see them grow in God's love and wisdom!! May God bless you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfect timing! I had a difficult day yesterday with my three kids (6,4,4) and I actually worked most of the day. Getting out of the house in the morning can be a challenge and it culminated in my yelling at the kids (again). My daughter and I were in tears before we got to school and I am still recuperating. I woke up this morning feeling like a failure as a mom and praying to God for hope. I long to find joy in my journey as a mom and peace that I am not failing completely. Thank you for your timely words.

Blogger Paula said...

What a great devotion for all moms. My boys are 13, 8, and 5. It is definitely more challenging as they get older and have their own ideas. All of my children are very interested in God and church. I just pray that this continues as they grow. I feel so inadequate to train them to be strong Christian men. It is so easy to look at other moms and think they have everything together. It is good to be reminded that everyone has the same struggles and feelings of inadequacy. I just don't want to fail in the spiritual training of my children. I pray that I always remember that my children are gold! Have a wonderful week!

Blogger Marcy said...

"Nothing is impossible with God." My youngest daughter is 5 and I have struggled often to remind myself that she is a beautiful creation of God. At one moment, I know she's a typical, strong-willed child. The next moment, I have tremendous feelings of guilt and anger for not being capable of parenting such a difficult, hateful, out-of-control little girl. I know I can do nothing without God's help. I have read so many different parenting books and tried so many techniques (from Christian and secular authors) that I am just sure I am messing her up even further, but nothing helps long-term. It's in the brief moments I snatch with my Bible or my online devotion that I get the morsel of encouragement I need to hang on when I just want to quit. I'd love some parenting tools for my seems all I have at the moment is a hammer and it's not working too well.

Blogger MaryinVA said...

I was so inspired by your devotion today. With three boys, 15, 12 and 8, it is so easy to get, and stay, focused on their attitudes and behaviors and NOT their hearts. I have asked God to help me push aside all of the dirt and see the gold radiating within them!

Blogger Margo said...

Thanks for the encouragement today! There are many days that I tell God He chose the wrong woman to be the mom of 4 boys so very close together. I know that I can do it through His strength, but some days I feel like tapping into that strength is harder than other days! Anyway, my oldest Nate is 6, next comes Kyle,5, than Ian, my ever-screaming-3-year-old (4 on Friday), and last is Caden, who is 2. God also called us to homeschool, which is even crazier. Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

Anonymous Julie said...

Renee, thank you for the devotional today,I love reading them every day. They always give me a pick me up in the morning. I am a single mother of 5 year b/g twins and I struggle every day with trying to be the best mom. Their personalities are nothing alike and my son is very stong-willed. It gets difficult at times and your daily devotionals really help.

Anonymous Marie said...

It is amazing how God works. I have been struggling with this exact issue. I have 3 children, my oldest is 22.However, I have 2 little ones ages 6 and 4 and just a few weeks ago I found myself on the floor crying because I was so overwhelmed. I find myself just yelling ALL of the time. So of couse my childern do what they see and yell all of the time. I have been praying for God to work with me and my children. I work full time and have such good intentions of not yelling when we get home, but as soon as we do get home, we are all on the battle field. I am so glad you shared your story and I will pray about it. I know with out a doubt my kids have gold in them. Somehow, I need to show them that they have gold inside them.
Thank you so much and may God bless you on your trip and every day.

Anonymous Debbie said...

Thankyou so much for your devotional today! I was feeling the same way, like I was failing as a mom somehow. I am definitely taking these ideas and running with them! My kids are 9 and 7 years old, but better later than never! Thankyou.

Anonymous Miriam said...

Thank you so much for the inspiration, positive outlook, and wisdom in your devotion today. I needed a good prescription for negative attitudes in myself that I then see in my children. I definitely will pursue reading/learning from the resources you mentioned. Blessings and prayers during your travels and speaking engagement.

Blogger heavnzchild72 said...

Renee, I read your words daily and it is such an inspiration to me. I take those encouraging words, couple them with the word of God and carefully attempt to apply them to my life. I am working this parenting business to the core. I am the mom of four fantastic children ages 16, 8, 6, and a terrific 3 year old!!!! I think I have covered the whole spectrum of challenges. On top of it all, I do it by myself. By myself in the sense that my husband left three years ago; however not alone because God walks me through this journey in Grand style.
Do I get it right all the time? No way!! But I know that My children are diamonds in the rough. God is helping me to mold and shape them into his precious jewels that are destined for greatness!
I equate our experience to a roller coaster ride.... where in the beginning were on a high with excitement!!!!..... then the BIG drop of parenting sets in. Soon after, were going through loop after loop. Sometimes with our hands clenched to the bars and other time with our hands in surrender to the will of God. After a while though it levels off and we can finally relax because we have gotten them to where they need to be. God has given us all the grace for parenting and with his help and the right tools I believe anything is possible to those who believe.
God bless you and thank you for reading.

Blogger 4jetts said...

What a timely devotional on P31 this morning. I sometimes still struggle and need reminded. Thanks! My son is 8 and my daughter will turn 6 in 2 weeks.

Anonymous Kim said...

Thank you. I have been bogged down in the dirt. I have 5 little children (aged 2 months, 18 months, 3 years, 5 years and 7 years). Life has been particularly hard the last 8 months or so. My husband left a few months before the baby was born. I had thought our marriage was ok, good even. With all the shock and upheaval and then the demands of a newborn, I have let the "behaviour standards" slip, focussing on how we were doing emotionally rather than dealing with problem behaviour. I just couldn't face the bad behaviour so I ignored a lot of it. Although logically I knew this was ok, I carried so much guilt over it. Your devotional has helped set me free of it. God cares more about my heart than my mistakes.

I realise you were talking more about developing a heart for God and his goodness than healing their broken little hearts but I thought you might like to know how much it has helped me today. I've cried those tears that I so desperately needed to cry, and forgiven myself for not being the "perfect mum" (I'm an aussie, so its mum for me, not mom)

Thank you for following God's call in your life.

Anonymous Josey said...

Thank you so much for your devotional today. I often wondered if I was the only one who ever felt that way. But I see that I am not. I too was envious of other parents who seemed to have it all together, I still am. Almost every day I have the feeling that I am not good at being a mom.
I have two children 11 and 7. After my youngest I had my tubes tied. At the time my husband and I agreed that we were happy with what we had and were content. Pregnancy was hard for me. But deep down I think I really felt like such a failure with my first child and I knew I wasn't going to be any good with the second one either, so I just couldn't do it again.
I can't believe that reading today's devotion has brought so much of these feelings to the surface. I guess I really need it. You have to dig away in order to deal with it.
Thank you again

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great devotional! I woke up earlier than the kids today and thought I should have a "quiet time" but didn't know where to I clicked on your devotional and it was perfect! I have a 3 and 5 year old, boy and girl. Now I can't wait to go wake them up to look for their gold! Elaine - - Missouri

Blogger julie said...

Renee, thank you so much for your devotion today - I really needed it - I too beat myself up for not being the perfect "mom" and I realized I am the one who is being so critical - and I need to slow down and just love my girls for them instead of trying to be this perfect mom. I have four girls, ages 9, 6, 4, 19 months.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee, I really feel that this devotion was written straight from God to me. Before I read it I told God that I give up ... I just can't do this anymore .. to please help me.

My blended family is really going through some hard times. I have two older daughters from a previous marriage .. they are teen-agers now. (17 and 14) My husband is really having a hard time with unconditional love for them. He sees NO gold in them. It is tearing my heart in two. My face is wet with tears as I type this. We have two younger children that are 7 and 9. The strife between my husband and the older girls makes family life pretty miserable. My husband is a Christian ... but just sees everything in black and white.

Thank you for the devotion ... I told the Lord that I surrender .. I cannot do this on my own. I desperately need his help.

I know that all my children have gold in them. I want the love of God to be so present in our home and our lives. I also know that my husband has gold in him. I'm believing God for a miracle in my family.

Thank you for the encouragement,

Anonymous Mom2Navybrats said...

Thank you somuch for sharing such a difficlut, but beautiful moment in your life. I, like so many others, feel like you wrote that just for me. I'm so thankful that God led me to your blog. I have really enjoyed reading it.

Blogger Ginny said...

Things like this just confirm my faith in God. You see, I too am down on my knees saying that I can't do this anymore. I am currently in a custody battle for my 13 year old DD whos birth father has suddenly decided after 12 1/2 years that he wants to be involved in her life. His idea of involvement is letting her listen to very inappropriate music, post provacative pictures of herself online, and expose her to drug use. She has developed a "me first" mentality since being around him and views my husband and I as the enemies that are preventing her from doing what she wants. In addition I have a 9 year old daughter who has begun to mimic my 13 year old because she has always looked up to her. I also have a 10 year old son with ADHD that is trying very hard to turn around the opinion of many of the teachers at school who view him as the "troublemaker". This year he has a teacher that looks for the best in him and is helping him to make the turn around. (she is definately a blessing from God) I also have a 5 month old baby that came along unexpectedly. When my husband and I found out we were going to have a new addition we were not sure how we would make it work. I had returned to college to get my degree when my youngest started kindergarten, and I still have about 3 semesters left to complete. However, family comes first so I am again a SAHM. The pressures of parenting and my feeling of failure with the behavior of my older girls was getting overwhelming. Then I read your devotion on Proverbs 31. I feel like God used you to encourage me not to "turn in my pink slip". I sat down and began to think about the gold in them, and realized that I had been focusing on the dirt and that made me feel like a failure. Seeing their gold helped me to realize that I have planted seeds and that I can use these current situations to help those seeds grow in them. Thank you for the encouragement and for your willingness to admit you aren't a perfect mom either. Perhaps if more of us moms would be willing to share our fears, feelings of inadequacies, concerns etc we might not feel such a need to do it on our own because we think we see others doing so.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sitting here folding endless socks, reading your devotional. I am looking at my kids socks, as well as mine and my husbands...thinking of where we'll all walk, together and seperately through our lives.
I was overwhelmed reading your mining for gold topic, looking at these socks, and feeling discouraged as a mom. It hit me that I need to get back into the swing of things is so easy to get down and just complacent in parenting.
The combination of my kids socks (ages 8, 5, and 3) staring me in the face, and your words on mommy failure and gold mining just spoke to me. I need to continue molding these kids and the best place to start again is to let them see Christ in my life so they can keep walking (sockless or not! :) in the right direction!
Thanks for your willingness to let God help us mommies!

Blogger gagirl38 said...

OMG! I followed your blog from the encouragment today I receive through crosswalk. This was so meant for me to hear today. I can totally relate to everything you said! Recently I have struggled with feeling like my time is running out to find the gold in my children especially with my 14 yr. old son. I've been so down lately wondering if anything has really reached his heart. He has become so distant and mean. I didn't teach him these things and it breaks my heart to see him behave like this. Just 2 nights ago, I cried myself to sleep and cried out to God to help me. And I feel like He gave me a new starting place as well - to see myself and take inventory of things I need to change. To really trust that He is always working things out even when we don't see it! Today I am leaning on him and the encouragment you gave from Psalm 19:35. Thanks so much for sharing from your heart! Trusting God :)

Blogger Kristy said...

I just came across your blog and this devotional - it is great. I have a 13 yr. old son, a 9 yr. old daughter and a 3 and 1/2 yr. old son. I definitely need to start "mining for their gold" instead of dwelling on shortcomings and difficulties!

Anonymous Beth said...

I have 5 children total between my husband and I:
Son 22, Daughter 22, Son, 21, Son, 12 and Daughter 11. It has been a journey being a mom and then a step mom to these wonderful children. Right now, I feel like I have failed in so many ways as a mother. I feel like my younger kids never listen to anything I say and I am so frustrated with them. I love being a mom to them all. My oldest son was an only child for 11 years and was extremely spoiled and this has carried over in his adult life. It was a rough couple of years and I had to do some "tough love" because of the choices he had made, but even in those times. I would remind him of the gifts God had given him and encourage him. Today, he is doing so much better and working 2 jobs in the field that God has gifted him in. He still has a long way to go, but I know God is faithful.
Thank you for the post today, I really need to dig for gold in my youngest daughter and my youngest son. What an awesome concept because I feel like all I do lately is correct them. The Bible clearly teaches us to encourage and build up others.
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow!

Blogger The Morgans said...

My son is almost five and I am 17 weeks pregnant! Thanks for your devotional--I am my own worst critic and very hard on myself about mothering, etc...Thank you for being so honest.


Blogger gagirl38 said...

oops my email is


This was just what I needed today. Why do I still have to check my 11 yr old's teeth to see if he's brushed them before he heads to middle school? And this morning my 10 yr old came down with wrinkled unmatched clothes. In his closet I found weeks worth of CLEAN laundry piled up hidden from sight -- no wonder his closet looked so sparse. And my 7 yr old is so independent. When did that happen? When did she develop such a sassy attitude? Truly Disney can't be the ONLY reason! And at 43 I am pregnant with our 4th. I'm thrilled but wonder how on earth I'll do it all. Mining for Gold is just what I need to be doing! Thanks for the encouragement!!


Anonymous Missy said...

Hi Renee,
Thanks for the GREAT devotion. As mothers I think we all need to be reminded that its not an easy job for any of us. Especially when we are trying to do the best job we can. I know my girls have gold in them. sometimes though its easy to forget to look for it. Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous Laura said...

I am so blessed to be reading your words of encouragement. Just a few weeks ago, I too, was at that place in my life where I wanted to give up on parenting. Through my prayers and petition, God began to speak to me. He lined up people at my church to speak words of wisdom to me through my Beth Moore Bible study, through the sermon, through my Christian parenting class, and now through P31 and your website. Oh, how great is our God!!! He has given me a new heart for parenting and the role that He wants me to take throughout their formable years. My boys are age 14 and 4. My oldest, I have a lot to catch up on before he goes off to college. I know, with God's hand in all of this, I have this time that's left here at home to change his destiny. Thanks to you and so many others in God's will, I will now be "mining for gold" and not for the dirt that just gets all over me! I have a new focus and that's to teach them and show them the love of Jesus! Thank you Jesus! God bless you Renee!

In Christ,

Blogger Nikki said...

I don't know why, but yesterday was one of those discouraging days for me. Well, I take that back, I do know why. I was not able to have any time in The Word yesterday. The closest I got was your blessing of a blog! Anyway, my young children (age 5,4,2, and 10 months)deserved better yesterday and I did not measure up. I want so much to apply the parenting advice that I have been following each day on your blog! Yesterday was not that day. Frustration and aggravation erupted in harshness all day long. I love my children so much and I know I am blessed to be a stay-at-home mom but yesterday I felt extremely overwhelmed!
But God is so good! He always knows just what I need and today it was that very reminder posted! Thank you again for the encouragement. It was SO needed this morning.

Anonymous Allison said...

Thank you so very much for speaking so honestly and from the heart. I started my trek in to Mommmyhood with twins! It has been awesome and exhausting. I had to work parttime, and became a terrible Mom. After another in a seemingly endless stream of bad behavior, God showed me all that i had let slip in my focus of what wasw important. My God supplies all my needs; and He gave me these 2 precious gems when the world said I would never conceive. They are my priority,and He can fix anything I may have messed up. I am in the hope that their gold is still buried in a shallow spot at their tender ages of 7 yrs. (on Feb. 10) I know God can unearth their gold, and I know He will unearth mine as well along the way. He is a mighty God, and a tender God. Tilling the soil of our hearts as only He can do; full of grace and mercy; guiding me with His loving hand. God can do this!! I know He can...I just have to keep ME out of the way!! thanks again for sharing your heart! God has made this way for you, and we're all so glad you stepped up to the challenge! Blessings to you! Allison,, 281.256.7193

Blogger momof6boys said...

WOW! Thank you so much for this devotion!!! I am a mom of 6 boys ~ ages 20, 19, 16, 14, 10, and 3. I love them all dearly and I can definitely relate...

I go through the "What kind of mom am I?" thoughts every few months. Mostly because of the age differences. Each of boys are going through different stages in their lives that I have now realized to put on a different hat for each age. That has helped me alot. Step back and realize which one I am talking to and put on the appropriate age hat.

Your devotion has given me another angle to work from. Pastor has been doing bible studies on winning the hearts of our children and this really ties in with it. But you really brought it home to me. "Don't look at their faults...look at their hearts!"

I have fully surrendered to God and I looking forward to becoming a Gold-Mining Mom ~ with the guidance and strength of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Thank you for being a blessing me today!

Anonymous kkelly said...

Renee, thank you so much for sharing your stuggles and triumphs! I am sitting at work thinking about how I can just disappear, and just give up being a mother and wife!! I have just gotten so tired and overwhelmed. It seems the harder I try to be the best mom and wife the less my family appreciates it. I came from a home that was just exsiting, no love, no support, nothing. So I have tried to make sure that my girls(14, 11 and 7)and husband have everything and then some. I have just come to a point that I just don't want to do this anymore, and I feel like I am just going through the motions out of obligation and not love. I want out. I am not happy, joyful, or even thankful about having a family anymore. And I am scared, I need help. How do I get pass this, and love and want my family again.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee, thank you for being so honest and saying what many will not say out loud. I am in my 40's. I am a stay at home mom with a 4 yr old precious and active boy. I also attend school part time. There are day's I feel I have taken on more than I can handle. I needed to hear your words today.

A change of attitude and perspective is needed. I need to look for gold and not focus on the dirt so much. Thank you for being real.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to have a copy of the gold mining chart - I do find it hard to see the positives each day. I have three boys, ages 9, 11, and 13.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have a daughter (11) and son (8).

I really appreciated the thought today about mining for gold - in my struggle with perfectionism, I'm always focusing on what MORE could be done, or how we could do things better without ackowledging what I or my kids have already accomplished. I need to look past the dirt for those nuggets of gold - thanks for the encouragement.


Anonymous Sue said...

After another tense morning getting my son of to school, I acually came home and was wondering how fast it would take me to pack my bags and run to the Bahamas! Thank you so much for today's encouragement. It is truly so much easier to pick ourselves apart than it is to realize that God is working in our lives and that we are such important people in His work. My children are 19, 17, 11 and 8. Thanks for always starting my day off with something to think about and prayer to get me going!

Blogger Enger Adventures said...

Thank you for today's encouragement. I am a mother of one son, age 10.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved this devotional! I too struggle with seeing the negative in myself and my children. I went through a Sunday School with Shepherding A Child's Heart and that was a great start in helping me see to the "heart" of the issue. I am going to mine for gold around the house with my children ages 9, 6, & 5. Thanks for the encouragement!

Blogger Joy said...

Thank you so much for the devotional today..I have a Son 11 and a Daughter who is 7....I try so hard and always fall short of "My" goal...after reading's because its "my" goal and not GODs! I always look at the things that went wrong instead of the things that went right...thanks for helping me have a new eyes!

Hi Renee, thanks for sharing your wisdom and insight. =)

We have a son Jonah who's 2 and as sweet as pie (most days). =)


Anonymous Bev said...


Thank you, thank you ... for this beautiful devotional. I am a single mother to an 11 yr old boy. There are some rather serious behavior issues with him. I often feel completely discouraged and like a failure as a parent. I admit also to feeling sorry for myself and resentful, because I am divorced and doing this all on my own. Parenting truly is the one thing that stretches me and constantly challenges me like none other. I pray to God daily for His strength and courage and the wisdom to raise this young boy(man)on my own.
Sometimes I feel so alone, often the bathroom is the only place I feel I can escape to, its there that I cry my heart out, and God's precious love always reminds me that I am never alone in His Presence.
Your devotional today brought tears to my eyes. God will bless and take care of all of our children in this crazy world we live,the enemy will not win with God's children, I truly believe that. But He did not promise that the journey would be easy. But instead throughout He does promise to be with us every step of the way.

Thank you again for this wonderful devotional, your honesty, and the personal experience that you have shared touched my heart.

God Bless You, Your Family,
and Us All !!


Blogger Jennifer said...

God certainly sent your message to me this morning. I am a disabled mom of a 13-yr old and a 3-yr old, and it happens this week I am in the middle of potty-training the 3-yr old. This morning began with nothing but whining and no!s from my little one in addition to a high pain level and I just wanted to sink in my chair and pretend I never woke up this morning. I am not eloquent so I simply want to say thank you to you. And certainly thank you to our Heavenly Father who communicated to me what I completely needed this morning through your post. I feel energized and confident now.

Thank you again!

with love,


Anonymous Mom of Many said...

I am a Mom of 8 and a Nana to 3 (and counting)- my two youngest, our "bonus babies" are now a junior and senior in high school and I MISS the days of being a mom at home with all my little ones- though at the time there were days when I "wished these days away" as I felt like a failure with too much to do, too little time (and sometimes little patience) For all of you still in the midst of the mess and the diapers and the strong willed children, hang in there, this too will pass and then it will seem like it passed so quickly.

Blogger Deborah said...

I have four sons from the ages of 13 all the way up to 34. My heart is always in so many directions when I pray for my boys and my daughter-in-law and my four grandchildren. I have off and on felt like I wasn't a good mom or grandmom. When I let my thoughts go on and on about me not being a great mom and gmom, I know that Satan is crossing his arms and smiling because I feel bad about myself. I love the Lord with all of my heart and talk with Him nonstop, that is what helps me from believing the lies.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee, your devotional was just what I needed. I was really discouraged yesterday and came to the point where I just had to tell God that He was going to have to take over. I have 6 children from 8 years to 3 months. I also can get a bit stressful at times.
Thanks so much,

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Renee ~ about 4 months ago I became really unsatisfied with life because I had no REAL purpose. That is, I was focusing all my energy on things that don't matter in eternity, things like perfecting "myself" like exercise, diet, a perfectly organized home, nice clothes, etc. I was so fixated on my image I rarely stopped to truly "see" my children. God helped me realize my drive for perfecting myself was damaging everyone around me and that I would never find true satisfaction in these things. That's when I really began to burrow into God's living word. He has begun a wonderful transformation inside me, one I can't describe with words. The transformation is not complete, and my growing in God will never cease, but thank God the seed is growing and I'm weeding out all the junk that was trying to choke out the seed. Now I'm beginning to focus all my energy on relationships. I so desire to feed my children's physical, spiritual and emotional needs, and nurture them out of the love, not out of obligation. I just found your web-site through the Proverbs 31 ministries website and I'm looking forward to learning how you've become a Can-Do Mom so I can imitate you.

My three daughters names are Beth (age 12), Bailey (age 6) and Ava (age 16 months).

Choosing HIS purpose as my service, Amanda Tolstad

Blogger Marion said...

Your devotion today couldn't have had more perfect timing. I was feeling the same way you were. I feel very discouraged because I feel like I have to do it all...and I can't. Thank you for following God's leading. And please pray for me. My children are 11, almost 7 and 4. Two boys and a girl. My boys are the older two and both have special needs. They are mild in the scope of things...but still a challenge.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning Renee,
What a wonderful morning devotion. One that stirs my heart up and makes me want to become a better wife and mother. I felt like the layers of dirt were starting to fall off just reading words of encouragement. I have three sons. Adam-20, Joel-18, and Tyler-17. My life as been very full with them and I feel like I am on the next journey with them as young men. I need to draw closer to God more than ever. Knowing that HE created me and I am worthy of HIS love and I need to love and encourage my sons. Thank you for the devotion. Blessings,

Anonymous Joy said...


My son just turned 3, is brilliant, beautiful, so sensitive in spirit to God's voice at a young age... and has the capacity to send me into dizzying tailspins of frustration and hurt.

If ever there were a word picture of my life it was the part where you wrote: "My feelings of inadequacy and thoughts of insecurity were held up in comparison to moms who... adorned themselves with attitudes of grace and wisdom. I wondered how in the world they pulled it off with a smile? I could barely get a shower, get my kids dressed, or get us out the door before lunch!"

That was my MORNING... and of course, we were late again. But I know God is knocking on the door of my heart, reminding me that in my strength I can accomplish nothing, but cloaked in Him, nothing is impossible. Wish I could put on that coat everyday.

Thanks for the word of hope...


Blogger The Whitton's said...

I loved the devotional and blog post today. I have 3 little girls - ages 5, 3 1/2 and 2.
Thank you for the reminder that God always sees the gold in us and to let Him be our goldminer..


Anonymous Adella said...

I'm hoping to look at my children through different eyes this morning. I know there is gold in there! I have three children, ages 7, 8 and 11. They are my joy even when I'm ready to climb the walls. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thoughts. They ring very true to my heart. I am a homeschooling mom of three kids, ages 12,9 and 6. I will mine for gold today instead of focusing on the big clods of dirt that seem to always be in the way. Blessings to you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your devotional. I often feel like I am failing my children. I have three; a son 23, a son 18 and a daughter 14. They each have Tourettes & ADD and some days are overwhelming. The parenting does not stop once they turn 18, it brings other issues and concerns. I often feel I'm not doing enough or the right things to help them, and get discouraged with their choices. However, I feel so completely blessed and overflowing love for each of them, amazed that God would trust me with their care. I'm sure I drive them crazy sometimes! I know, and have seen the gold in each of my children, but there are days where discouragement gets the better of me. I know God has a plan for their lives, but reminders like P31devotions are needed on the tough days. A reminder that the Lord is right by my side and waiting to hear from me. Thank you for the reminder to keep digging for the gold in my 3 beautiful blessings!


Blogger Connolly Family said...

Renee, I really appreciate your devotion today as I am struggling. I have a 23 month old and a 3 year old and I often feel like they are running circles around me. I am a young disabled Veteran with a lot of health issues(my husband's calls it our 3rd child) and I often get discouraged because I see other moms that are so good with their children. I am so really wanting to reach my girls at the heart level and sometimes I wonder as my 1 year old slaps my 3 year old for no reason other than being just mad, if I am even reaching them. I want to become a Gold-Mining mom. Thank you for your thoughts, it was encouraging. Janice

Anonymous Cory-Lynn Lopez said...

Renee- I'm sure every Mom out there can relate. There is something about when your children are at that toddler or baby stage that really makes us see ourselves as failing. It must be a combination of that lack of sleep, and the responsibility being a Mom is- especially if we are trying to do it all on our own! Isn't it wonderful that we serve an amazing, faithful God who is right there to pick us up and help us. We just need to ask.
My children are 12, 9, 7 and 4. In a few weeks I will officially be the Mom of a teenager!
I see you are reading My Single Mom Life by Angela Thomas. I highly recommend it. I am so glad! I am excited to see that P31 is going to have a ministry for single moms.
Since August that is now what I am after 15 years of marriage. Very sad.
Yet- God is here, meeting me everyday!
Thank you for your ministry to so many. It is daily encouragement to me in my journey of serving our loving God.
In Him,

Anonymous Daughter of the King said...

Renee.....Wow did that hit me like a ton of bricks. I have been in that "ma blah" this week and experiencing this very thing. I am so thankful my friend sent me your blogsite. My husband and I have two boys 19 and 16 and we also have two adopted daughters 6 and 8.(from birth) We are amazed at all four children and thank God each day for them but often forget how to mine for the gold when facing daily challenges. It was also such a reminder of how special each of us are to God. Our youngest daughther faces things the other three never will...(prenatal drug exposure). I will be focusing on the "gold" now. Her name is Hebrew for God has answered!!! (Eliana) She is such an answer to prayer and God's amazing love and grace in our lives.
Thanks for will leave beautiful heartprints on others!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your devotional today, the scripture out of Psalms was exactly what I needed. Now I need to finish reading the whole chapter. The mining for gold activity I am going to read again and work on changing my perspective, with God's help of course. Our children are Alexis, 6 1/2 in 1st grade and Andrew almost 4. Charlene

Anonymous Anne said...

Thanks for your encouragement. My husband and I have two daughters,ages 12 and 10. I can so identify with your feelings when our girls were toddlers as well. I am such a more confident mom now because of the healing Christ has done in my life as I have grown in my walk with Him.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I really needed this. Our oldest son is 18 and really struggling right now. Our daughter is 8 and our youngest son is 6 and has autism. Some days I have really felt discouraged because we tried for years to have a baby. Most of my life I longed to be a mother and now a lot of days I just feel overwhelmed with the struggles. Now having that picture that those struggles are just moving through the dirt to the real gold that lies beneath will really help me focus again on what really matters.

Blogger Melinda said...

Hi, I really needed this today. I have a nine year old girlie girl that I homeschool and a 5 year old B-O-Y. He's not just a boy, he a B-O-Y boy. There are times when I can see the gold in him, and I do see the dirt too. I'm just afraid that when (and if) I send him to school, or wherever we go, no one else will see the gold through the dirt!
My 9yo is generally easy to deal with, although pretty emotional...but what girl isn't???
I guess I need to start by making a list of their positive traits and share that with them. It's far easier for me to be critical than positive, and I don't want my critical-ness to rub off on my kids (anymore than it already has!) Thanks for giving me a starting point!

wow, look how the comments have grown. This is really catching on. I'm so thankful you're doing this.

I heard your interview on KSBJ with Liz Jordan yesterday! WooHoo, I can't wait until tomorrow. GNO!!!

Paula G. <><

Blogger JottinMama said...

Your devotional and blog post today couldn't have come at a more perfect time. I have a 2 year old and one on the way! Here lately, I have become a tad discouraged and frustrated in my mothering. I'm not nearly as good at it as I always thought I would be - leaving me feeling like I'm worlds away from that Proverbs 31 lady in the Bible :)

Thanks so much for the encouragement:) Have a nice day!

"Finding meaning in the monotony" right along with you,
Kate :)

Blogger girlmom said...

Thank you so much for this devotional today, Renee. I can relate to this on every level. My three girls are 2, 4, and 8. I often feel like handing in my pink slip, and have been known to lock myself in the closet to escape the arguing of my kids....I am so encouraged today. My heart is lifted, and I am going to go gold-mining starting today!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow I have seriously been struggling with this and was deciding when I was going to go to a Christian Bookstore and wander up and down the mom isle. :) I was looking forward to it but also overwhelmed by where to start. I have so been that mom lately trapped in guilt over things I'm not doing and most of all like you said comparing myself to everyone around me. I think a nasty habit I have fallen into lately is comparing myself to moms who have these awesome blogs when of course really, honestly noone shows the not so great pics of their kids and the nitty gritty moments around the house. There's not a tantrum picture to be seen anywhere??? :) And such an exciting thing my husband and I have been called to do is adopt a child from another country, something we KNOW is a calling in our life and I have been struggling with how I am going to be the mom I'm supposed to be to this child when I feel this way about the two I already have.... But praise to the Lord who has been stirring my heart lately about this same thing and led me to the Crosswalk devotion today and then here. I am not going to let Satan trap me in guilt! Thank you thank you thank you for this today! Praise God for leading me on this path to be the mother I am supposed to be!

Blogger Karen said...

Renee,wWhat a blessing to have God speak to me this morning through your devotion, digging through my dirt to encourage me that there is gold somewhere deep in my heart.

I am a single parent to two beautiful and intelligent daughters, ages 12 and 14. I can see the gold underneath the dirt in them but somehow I seem to fail at helping them discover the gold God has within them.

Due to our circumstances, one daughter believes God has abandoned her and refuses to acknowledge God's presence or purpose for her existence. Which of course breaks my heart. However, God is right here with us and I know God will not stop loving her. I just continue to pray for her, trying subtly to show her the nuggets of gold that is within her.

Thanks so much for sharing as God leads you.

In His grip!

Blogger princess said...

I have two sons; their ages are 17 and 2. Unfortunately it has been a long time since I felt like "gold". I prayed for children (God has a sense of humor 15 years of refining) but my second pregnancy was rough; the baby was a preemie and we almost lost him. I praise the Lord that he is doing well. Believe me my kids are my life and I thank God dearly for them.

The gold that I'm referring to is the one described in Job 23:10 (when He has tried me I shall come forth as pure gold). "Pure" is not what I learned in life so discouragement is what I face and feelings of uselessness and un-fulfillment is what I know best. I love my family but I feel like I have to please everyone and at the end of the day I am left empty.

I work outside of home so I have many hats to wear and I always feel that I am separating myself into many. I have a lot of dirt in my life so I can’t wait for the day for the Lord to display me as refined gold.


Blogger moreygirl said...

With two boys, 4 and 2, your story could not have come at a better time. Thank you for being honest. Just when I was starting to think that I was the only one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Help my unbelief.... Thank you for being a vessel to allow God's arms embrace me today about my kids... two boys 81/2, and 9, adopted and with special needs (I think I'm the one with the REAL need)Plus I'm just beginning a study about 'Believing God' and God's timing is perfect...Do i really believe He is who He says He is? That He can do (enable me to be a better mom in His strength)what He says He can do? That I am who He says that I am? That because of that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me? That God's Word is alive and active in me?....Hmmm, not just head stuff but heart and somtimes 12" is aloooong way. Thank you again for confirming that God is always able!

Blogger Shannon said...

Your devotional today spoke to my heart, because I made it one of my New Year's "resolutions" this year to focus on my children's good qualities and behaviors, rather than focusing on the "bad" ones. I love the gold mining analogy!
My children are ages 8 and 6.
Thanks, Renee!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee, thanks for the devotion today. My son is 5 and my daughter is 3. I find myself focusing on the no so much of the time. Just last week in a Bible study we were reminded of a verse "Mark the blameless man" and it has stuck in my brain. Every time I see my kids do the right thing, I go over and tell them how proud of them I am and 'mark the blameless man' Keep up the great work and I will be reading everyday.

Blogger HL0517 said...

Your devotions are always so eye opening and love how universal they are. I have a little boy that is 2 and could definately apply this with him.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Renee for being real with us. Parenting sure is a big task and you don't get the training beforehand like you do for most careers! I've been wading through the mire for too much of the time in parenting too and longing to see some gold in myself. I have a 5 year old daughter and a 2 year old son.

Thanks for this encouragement and the follow up. It's become very helpful to me. I have four children, ages 13, 8, 5, and 3 and no matter how old they get and how much I think I've learned about parenting, new challenges arise. Mining for gold is something the Lord has put on my heart for many years with my children and used you to remind me of that. Thanks again!
Sara Jo Poff

Blogger Jennifer said...

Renee, thank you!

I have 2 children. One is 10 and the other is 2.

I never really had any problems with my 10 year old until now. He is becoming a smart ailek. And coupled with that, we have the toddler who has shaken me to the core as to whether I am a good mom or not, because his brother was so CALM. I thought it was me.

I am thankful to be reminded that I don't have to do this on my own. GOD is the best parent with attributes of both a father and a mother.

My e-mail is

Thanks again!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You
Renee, your devotional today is just what I needed. I have three teenagers in the house 19,16,13. I struggle everyday with the decisions that come with being a mom of teenagers. Friends with younger children in my moms group ask if it gets better as the get older. I just tell them the truth that you just move on to the next chapter. So I am going to look for the Gold in my children today.

Blogger ttm said...

Renee, thank you for sharing your heart today about this topic. I have a sweet little boy who just turned 2 and one due in 7 weeks. My son is starting to enter a new phase of independence and opinions, and I often find myself feeling the frustration and discouragement you talked about. This devotion really touched my heart and helped me to see how important it is to shift my focus and start digging for the gold I know is there. Thanks again!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son is 5 yrs old. He is the only child his birthday is in july. We decided to wait til next year to sent him to school. Brayden is probably like most kids at his age. He thinks everything is suppose to happen right when he says or wants it. Lately I feel he's not apprecating things we give him or do for him. He is not wanting to help out around the house with little chores either. My husband says spank him more I don't want to be spanking him all the time. I 've been praying I will be a better mom and positive role model to him.
WOW your devotion came at just the right time. GOD has a way if we will stop to listen
Thank you Becky

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Self criticism is one of my worst downfalls. It seems I am my own enemy in this department. I get the P31 devotion by email each and today's touched me so much that I clicked over to your site and read further about mining for Gold. It has really inspired me. God definitely used you to speak to me this morning. Thank you so much.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed your devotion today. It is just what I needed to hear.
I have a 12 year old son, and two daughters ages 9 and 7.

Anonymous Alvesa said...

I loved today's devotion it really spoke to me. I was a single mother of a 10 year old about two years ago and now I am a wife and a bonus mama to 3 more kids (he was a single dad). So now I have a 12 yr old, 10,8 and 5. This was a huge change for me and at times I feel that the should act a certain way and be proper all the time, not be loud or act out in public. But that stuff just happens (oh yea and by the way the all have 4 different but unique personalities). At times I felt as though I failed as a bonus mom but realized that God placed me here and he chose me for them for a reason, and this devotion just reminded me that it's not in my strength but in God's. But, don't get me wrong I love my life and my kids and would not trade my blessed life for anything. He placed me there and It's my job now to find their individual GOLD (thru all the dirt lol). So thanks you for those words of encouragement that encourages me to regroup.
And I'm so, so excited to be going to see you ladies tomorrow in Houston.
GoD Bless me as I Mine for Gold.

Blogger texasmommie said...

Renee thank you so much for sharing your story! Often times we as moms sit back and view other moms as being perfect, so put together with obedient children. It's very easy to get discouraged in a world full of negative influences. My 14 yr old often wakes with a negative attitude and its hard to not take it personal, my 18 yr old moved in with her boyfriend and has a 1 yr old (not how I invisioned my daughters life to be at 18), and my 16 month old son is very demanding. All of these isssues not to exclude my hubby, housework, laundry, cooking, accounting for my hubby's business, shopping, still combining households(married almost 2 yrs), and the new addition construction on the house.....contribute to my feelings of overwhelming disparity. I feel pulled from all directions and feel like throwing my hands up and yelling "I quit!" Only in Gods word do I feel renewed. If it were not for KSBJ and their uplifting music and Godly words all day, who knows how deep that pit would be that I was digging formyself.
I'm a newbie to Proverbs 31 and I thank God I found you! Unfortunately I couldn't get tix for "Girls Night Out", but next time you come to Houston I'll be there! Thank you for your daily words of encouragement!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee, I loved your devotional. Today was a hard morning. Many of those that I want to just give up and am crying out what am I doing I losing my child's heart, am I truely not able to do this!!!
I have a beautiful, smart 8 year old daughter. And my days can be overwhelming as I am a full time employee and part time student at night.
I'm thankful for your devotion. The Lord spoke to me thru it.
Thank you.
God Bless!!!

Blogger Mary said...

This is so the message that I needed to hear! Some days I feel like all I do is yell and say NO to my kids and I know that there is so much more to being a mom than that!

As a working mom, I struggle to find that balance between getting things done in the evening and spending quality time with my kids.

I do just like your P31 devotional said and look at other moms and wonder how they do it and what I'm doing wrong.

Thank you for reminding me of the good that is in my children and showing me how to focus on that. I love the list! God knew that I needed to hear this today!

Mary in St. Joseph, MO
Mom of a 5 and 2 year old

Blogger The mama said...

I have only yesterday subscribed to the daily Proverbs 31 devotionals, but how they have blessed me in just two days time. Our children are 10, 9, 7 and 2. I have felt really challenged lately to begin to make God a bigger focus personally and within our family. Thanks for reminding me that I am a child of God, and that He seeks the gold hidden in me. I am asking for His help in seeking the gold within each of my children too!


Blogger Tabatha22 said...

Thanks so much for your devotional today, it was wonderful. I am completely new to your site I was sent here by a friend that was placed in my life by the Lord and has been an absolute joy and inspiration.
My two lil girls are 6 and 5. My 6yr old got saved 2 weeks ago and they both love the Lord so unconditionally.


Blogger eliza said...

My family is going through some tough changes right now, and my kids are confused. We are in a wonderful church home, but my 5yr old is really struggling somewhere inside himself. please pray that he recognizes the people mining for the gold he has to offer.

Anonymous Stephenie said...


I loved the "Gold-Mining" story. How true that is. I will begin looking at thing s from a different perspective today. Thank you for your ministry!


Blogger Cammie said...

I loved your CAN-DO KID, example. I used it with my 5yr old daughter that day in fact.
I greatly appreciate you being so real with being a mom. I've just recently had an I quit day, where I ran away to the store and left my kids with my husband. My 5yr old daughter completely baby powdered her brother 1.5yr from head to toe.
I took my kids to church and realized why I didn't go anymore. They acted like heathens, and I was so embarrassed.
It's a new day, and I'm up for the challenge.
Thank you,

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this devotional. I don't know how many times I have said "I quit". My kids deserve more and with God's help I hope to get it to them someday soon.

Anonymous andreap19 said...

Hi my name is andrea (RI).
I am a mom of 9 year old twin girls. I Have a lot of fears arounf then growing up and going astray from GOD'S ways, so i become very protective about evrything. But i have real;ized today after reading Renee;s devotional that i have lacked to find teh gold in my children's heart. My axiety about the coming years and how society is becoming has made me not enjoy being a mom. I always say that parenting is the hardest job i ever had, and many times one i do not enjoy. Bbit today Gos is speaking to me to take up this parenting journey with Him by my side, something i have failed to do!

Anonymous Kerri said...

Renee, thank you once again for your devotional. I get so caught up in looking at our "actions" - that I forget to look at the hearts of our family. I already have out my pen and paper to make lists of golden actions and golden attitudes and look for verses for each. Thank you.
Mom of Emily (7) and Erin (4)

Blogger Kathleen Donegan said...


Thank you so much for your words today. I am a stay at home mom of four children, ages 15 to 2, with a loving husband. We are a blended family which brings in its own challenges. I recently gave my husband the "pink slip" as well. He's been doing his best to pick me up and dust me off... reminding me that the Lord will carry me through each day. I love your story about gold mining... that we need to look past all the dirt to get to the gold within our children. I often wondered how the "super moms" could get their children dressed and out the door on time for church... or get their children to listen to them in the grocery store. I feel that I need to dig past all the dirt in my life to find Gods gold within myself.

Thank you for your words of encouragement!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

PERFECT TIMING!! This came at a perfect time...thank you so much for allowing God to use you to encourage others...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for today's devotion. My friend's and I always talk about how we dont feel like we are the best mom's that we can be, but we have never looked on it with this perspective before. My children are 7 and 3 and the 3 year old, my daughter, daily tries my patience with her stubborness; she is just like me!!! Oh,my poor mother.

God's blessings on your trip!


Anonymous Gloria said...

It was as if I was reading about myself while reading your blog and devotion. My daughter is 8 and sometimes I wonder where I went wrong and what did I do that makes her act so awful sometimes. I have thought many times that I'm not cut out to be a Mom which is sad because I love being a Mom. I too long to be the Mom God wants me to be. I cry out to Him often but I guess I just don't think He hears and I don't give HIm time to work.
Thanks for your inspiring words. It definitely give me hope that I too can become a great Mom.

My email is

Blogger Stephanie said...

I felt like God was speaking directly to me today through your devotion and blog. I have 2 daughters, ages 11 and 13. It is often times difficult to look past the arguing and teenage attitudes to search for the "gold". Thanks for your ministry!


Blogger Stephanie said...

I felt like God was speaking directly to me today through your devotion and blog. I have 2 daughters, ages 11 and 13. It is often times difficult to look past the arguing and teenage attitudes to search for the "gold". Thanks for your ministry!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the encouragement of Mining for Gold. I have been struggling with my sons and trying so hard to teach them what is right and of God. I have gotten to the point where I'm so frustrated it's hard to keep my head above water. But I see I need to be on my knees more often, more positive & Mining for Gold in my children. Thank you very much for your encouragement and godly words.

Anonymous Charla said...

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. It means so much to me. My husband and I are blessed to have 3 beautiful girls, ages, 6, 4, and 1 1/2. There have been many days when it just seems so you said, just wanting to quit. Sometimes it's just so draining. I love my girls and they are wonderful gifts from God, but I needed this encouragement to look for the gold in truly see them as God created them to be.

We have been praying about homeschooling instead of public school. We definitely feel this is the direction God is leading us, but it seems like Satan just wants to put those little doubts in there. Your encouragement just seems to be even more of a confirmation that we're doing the right thing. Thanks so much for your devotional today. You have truly blessed my heart.

Have a blessed day,

Blogger Mir said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us today! It spoke to me, as I think we as mothers often find ourselves in this place..wondering if we are doing it well enough, and if our children will actually "turn out" as we hope and pray they will. But it all comes down to laying it all down before God and letting Him deal with us and them. Thank you for opening my eyes again to this. I am a mom of two, ages 11 1/2 and 6 1/2. I will look for the gold within them today!
Miriam (

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your encouraging devotional today. I have a two year old, adorable, very very (did I say very??) energetic son. I work full-time and feel like my most important job as a mother sometimes gets put on the back-burner. My husband is a full-time minister, so weekends are busy too. Your devotion was a beautiful reminder that I need to focus on my son's heart when I am with him, and not get bogged down in all the little habits or behaviors that are negative. Many times I am too critical of myself also and feel guilty when I should not. I do need to be more proactive in digging for the gold in his little, but enormous heart. He is such a sweet and loving child to be so small. Thank you!

Anonymous Jess said...

Renee, You have been an answer to my prayer. I have felt for so long like a bad mother. I always asked the question of how can my kids be as smart as they are, I never spend the time teaching them? I totally surrendered today to the plan that God has to make me the mom He wants me to be. I've prayed for that, but never really found an answer until today's devotion and blog you wrote. Thank you Lord for Renee. For giving her the wisdom and love from You so that she can share it with others who need that wisdom to find Your love. True love. Amen May God continue to use you in more ways than you can imagine.
God bless you!

Anonymous Debbie said...

Dear Renee,
Thanks so much for your devotional. I've been feeling like a failure as a mom, even though I have wonderful 9-year-old twin girls. I've been focused on what's wrong instead of what's "gold" -- in my children, in myself, and in my husband. I'm making a commitment today to be a gold-miner.
Thank You and May God Bless You.

Anonymous 4Temps4ever said...

This was such a timely devotion for me and touched me deeply. My kids are 12 and 4 and constantly test me at different levels. Thank you so much for your words!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your devotional today! Lately I have been praying for patience and understanding involving my children. Every morning that I wake up it my patience and understanding is better! God is so wonderful!
I have 3 beautiful little girls, ages 2, 4 and 7yrs old.
I look forward to reading more tomorrow!
Thank you,

Blogger Diane said...

I am a grandmother and a great aunt who loves your nuggets. My granddaughters are 4 and 5 and my great nieces are 2 and 3. It is so good to know others feel the same way you feel.
I have found when there is scheduling and some flexibility in our future generation lives it is a wonderful experience.
I can see God in each and every one of them.
Thanks for your wisdom and for sharing it with others.
If we go back to less is more and families are the most precious gifts God has given us.

Anonymous Lora C said...

Your devotional couldn't have come at a better time. I am a single parent of two ages 19 and 15. It has been difficult raising the children without their father, but God provided a wonderful church family. My 19 year old son has been going through rebellion for the past 6 years with drinking, drugs, complete disobedience, you name it. He was a talented athlete and extremely intelligent student and I couldn't wait to see him soar. He barely graduated high school last year, moved into an apartment that he couldn't afford (his girlfriend's mother cosigned for this) and his 15 year old girlfriend moved in with her parent's consent. He lost his job, fell behind on the rent, moved into his girlfriend's parent's home to live with his girlfriend and in four months will become a father. I just found out about the baby on Monday. It seems that each time I make peace with the mess that he has created I find out about a new one. I have begun having panick attacks, gained 20 pounds eating my issues, been in a car wreck that wasn't my fault--but left me with neck, shoulder, and back issues not to mention no car, and I have a 15 year old daughter to encourage, support, and love through all of this madness with her brother. She now wants to disown him. With all that said, your devotional really spoke to me. However, I just don't know how to begin finding/mining the gold in my son. He is so covered in dirt that it is as if my son is dead and the hope that I had of ever having my son back is fading.

Renee, I believe this will touch many moms today. I remember a time that I sat in the floor crying with all three of my little ones. I was 24 years old, a mom to two babies (twins!) and a toddler, and I felt overwhelmed. Acknowledging that we all have those moments, and coming together to give each other a "you can do it!" every once in a while is priceless. Thanks for running my post on teens and faith yesterday and the day before. You are awesome.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the devotional today!! It was wonderful and a great encouragement for me to dig for gold in my children. I have four children. Three boys ages 7, 5 and 3 and a girl who is 20 months. I keep busy but love my kids! I am a missionary in Ecuador!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for allowing your life to be an open book of encouragement for moms like me. I have 3 boys, ages 8,6 and 2. Your post was such an inspiration to me today. I am determined to discover the gold that is under all that dirt(and believe me, with 3 boys, there's a lot of dirt!). May the Lord bless you and your family!

Blogger kellylynne said...

I am not yet a mom of two but I will be in 7 months. I have a wonderful one year old, but let me tell you I swear at the breakfast table I prayed this exact prayer. Being pregnant with a super active one year old has drained me completely. I don't feel adequate as a Mom, as a wife, as a leader in Ministry. I don't know how moms of multiple children do it. Routine is out the door, a clean house is out the door, and my sanity certainly is out the door. Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone. I have a wonderful husband, but he just doesn't know what I mean by needing help. I guess I need to show him better. Thanks for sharing your heart, it certainly helps young mothers out here!

Anonymous Aimee M said...

Renee, I am so there... I need lots of help in the mom department. I have a 4 year, a 3 year, a 2 year, and a 1 year old at home with me. Thanks for your encouraging words. Aimee M my email is Thank you

Anonymous Thomi said...

Good Morning, Renee!

I have to say your devotional today was just what I needed!! Every once & a while I too want to "quit" or at least go on strike for a while from motherhood! I have 5 beautiful children, 13, 11, 6, & 5 year old twins, whom I love to bits! But sometimes, the arguing & the bickering are more than I can take!

It's lovely to know that our God cares enough about me to "stoop down to make me great"! Thank you for reminding me that I can't do it alone, but with God, I can do all things!!

Thank you for reminding me that I don't have to do this alone!!

Be blessed!

Blogger Laurie said...

Thank you for the devotion today. I am the mother of two children. My son is 8 and my daughter is 5. I really enjoyed the story of mining for gold. I know I am guilty of focusing on the dirt and not the gold. Thank you for the challenge today!


Blogger For His Glory said...

Dearest Renee - oh how your post this morning touched my heart and reminded me of when I, too, gave up. I became a mom on August 15, 1989 and again on June 25, 1992 - both times, a single woman. My first husband had passed away when I was pregnant with my older boy and became pregnant and delivered my second son as a single mom who was lost and separated from the Savior I had loved as a child. On January 1, 1998, after trying so desparately for many years to do on my own what I could not do without Jesus, I surrendered. I quit. I said out loud "Lord, take me out of this life or take my life. I quit. I cannot do this any more." At that moment, Renee, our Father God took control of my life and I have not looked back. As I am learning His ways better - I do better as a parent and have been a subscriber to the P31 block for nigh on five years now. P31 has shown me how to mine for gold in my heart, in my husband'd heart and in my children's hearts. Thank you for your transparency and for sharing with us the "gold" God has revealed to you. Yours, In Him - Andrea Austin, Glendale, Arizona

Anonymous Anonymous said...

God always knows what we need doesn't He? The amazing thing is it is always before we realize it. He is always one step ahead of us and that is so comforting. Many times I have been so filled up with my own objectives, my own pride that I get consumed and it always leads to anger and sadness. Thank you for reminding me that focusing on the good in my children is much more rewarding. I get so caught up in the task and what I think my children should be that I forget. I forget that God has a plan for me as a mother and for all of us as his children. When I do check in with Him first my day is so much smoother. Thank you for sharing your very real story and for encouragung all mothers to seek the gold God has blessed our children with.

Anonymous Dawn T. said...

Renee - Thank you. The LORD used your devotion today to remind me of where I was, where I still find myself at times and where He's taking me. My testimony is similar to yours in that 5 years ago I spiraled into a pit of depression because I didn't like the mom that I was. I didn't know how to be a mom, or at least I didn't think so because it didn't feel right and nothing I did was right. I wanted to blame everyone that didn't teach me the right way because all the other moms seemed to have it together but why didn't I? I was a successful manager in corporate america and was quite used to having things under control. When God called me to be a full-time mom I didn't even have an opportunity to update my resume for that position! I was thrown into a 'position' that I didn't have control over and didn't have a degree in or was even trained for!! I now realize that women aren't 'born moms'. It is a constant on-the-job training. I believe that I developed habitual strongholds. My perspective was incredibly skewed. Now, I still visit those strongholds from time to time. But I am reminded to look beyond the "right now" to the "next time" and the future and continue to build my children one day at a time - (and sometimes one hour at a time). Being a mom is tough. I am wonderfully encouraged by reading your devotion today! Again, thank you!
Much love, Dawn (

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to quit this morning. I was so happy to open this devotion today. I am going to write my note right now and pray for God to help me. I have four children. I know my kids have gold I've just haven't been able to get past the dirt this week. Thank You Dana

Blogger Misti said...

My kids are 8,6,4, and 2.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know how I happened to find your blog, but I sure am glad I did. I am the mom of two boys (11 and 6) and one girl (2 years old). They are a handful and I often find myself frustrated and discouraged.

I recently had to go back to work and my whole family (including my husband) is dealing with that adjustment too. Your post really reminded me that it does take time to find the gold. We all have and somehow God sees it.

Thanks for the reminder!

Blogger tiggerdaisy said...

Love it! :)

Have a wonderful time in Houston!


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I read your devotional today. Thank you I really needed this.
I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to quit. Being a single mom of 2 boys ages 14 & 7 . My youngest is on the Autism Spectrum and has ADHD as well.


Blogger Ron & Shawna said...

Renee, God spoke to me directly through your devotion today! I have a friend whom I am witnessing to right now, so I've committed to sending her the Proverbs 31 devotions daily with my comments added to the email. I woke up today so discouraged and feeling like such a failure as a mother...I was wanting to "give up". I home school both of my teenage boys and yesterday was really bad day. I felt like such a failure as a mother this morning and cried out to God for His help. Little did I know, the devotion today was meant as much for me as it was my friend. Thank you for sharing your experience with us today. I am feeling "inflated" once again. Praise God for His faithfulness!!
My son Taylor is 16 and Jordan is 14

Blogger Marjorie said...

Renee your words have touched me even though my "kids" are 38 and 35 now and my grand daughter is 10. They are bright shing gold in my life even though a little dusting is necessary from time to time (for me too.)
I find that there are other areas of life that bring discouragement and many days I feel like quiting because I feel so alone. Only by surrendering all to God, helps me to keep on, one step at a time. I pray that I am doing an acceptable job of it all.

Marjorie - Jamaica, W.I.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee - Thank you for your devotional. It really touched my heart particularly in relation to my 15 year old son who has ADHD and very little motivation in school and appears lazy most of the time. Sometimes I wonder if he will ever make it in life. I realize that there is gold there that God has given me the responsibility to mine. It is just so hard!

Like Pam, my husband and I went through infertility. My 15 year old son and 14 year old daughter were adopted from Paraguay. I thank God for giving them to us. He has also blessed us with a biological daughter who is now 9. His plan was so much better than mine. Hang in there Pam. God gave you those adopted children because He knew you were the best parents for them! He WILL get you through all this!

Jaisy -

Blogger Tasha said...

My children are 10 and 8. Thank you for entering me in this giveaway.

Blogger DLucas said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger DLucas said...

My kids ages are: 20,18,10,8,5, 4.
So many days I am tired and frustrated by the "unChristian" like behavior my kids exhibit; knowing that that's not how we are bringing them up. What a great reminder to look for the gold under the dirt... it's there. I just have to keep digging and "panning" for the gold.

Blogger MarianneandMatt said...

Just what I needed to read today. Thanks very much. I want daily to find the gold in my kids (ages 4, 6, 8, and 10); thanks for the encouragement.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee, thank you for your devotional today. God's perfect timing again gave me just what I needed to hear today! I fell to my knees in tears and prayers of thanks. We have 3 children 28,27, and 9. Thank You!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how God uses other people to give us exactly what we need to hear. I came home early from work today with a sour stomach and the same feelings you described in your Proverbs 21 devotional. I am overwhelmed almost on a daily basis with the pressures of life and the feeling that I don't know how to make it work. I have always been really hard on myself, so I am sure it is just the devil feeding on my own insecurities. Thanks for the word of encouragement. I know with the Lord's help tomorrow will be better.


Anonymous Dana said...

Thank you so much for today's devotional. Being a working mom of three boys ages 16, 12 & 7, I feel like it's the hardest thing to teach them the way I would like to if I were at home more with them. I'm tired when I get home and I probably only see their bad habits and not their heart. Thank you for reminding me of this. My email is I hope I win! Dana Bandy

Blogger blessedoriginals said...

thanks for the insight! as a mother of four kids--ages 11, 10, 8, and 6--i feel like quitting on a regular basis :-) i love the gold comparison. i know my kids are precious, each in their own way. it puts new meaning in my job to think of it as cleaning the dirt away to reveal the wonderful gold inside.

many blessings to you!

Blogger Shawna said...

Thank you for your devotion today. God always knows when to send something my way and exactly how to say it to me. It is so easy for us to be down on ourselves as mothers and to want to be "perfect". Fortunately God loves us "imperfect" and continues to work on us and grow us. I loved the story of the gold. How eye opening!!!
I have three children, ages 12, 9 and 4.
Have a great day!!!

Anonymous Carolyn said...

Amazing and oh so relevent to my current situation. I've been feeling blue recently regarding parenting three little girls our family has taken in while their mom's incarcerated. These little ones' needs are so great, and I've been feeling like a failure as I attempt to unearth the dirt packed so tightly around their hearts.

I've been incrediably frustrated with myself because I'm a veteran of the this parenting thing.(I've nearly raised my four children.) I thought the second time around would be easier, but your devotional has confirmed in my heart what the Lord has been whispering in my ear. "You need to rely on Me, Carolyn, for strength, wisdom, patience, etc...

Thank you, Renee, for pointing me to Him this morning. I will face this day with my focus where it belongs and my heart renewed.

Blessings to you,

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the time you have devoted to blessing others. Your devotion this morning on Knowing Where to Start was a delayed answer to my prayer several years ago. I am the mother of 9, seven of which are grown. While I was homeschooling the last six, there were several occasions that death looked better than life. But there was one particular day like the one you spoke of that drove me to tears before my Lord in utter failure and despondency in my abilities, even with His help. I do wish I could have heard from Him that day as you did. But life went on and we survived.

After my youngest daughter married and I realized how quickly time had past and how much I still had to teach her, I wrote letters to her. In one of those God showed me something very similar to what you spoke of regarding mining. Philippians 2:12 exhorts us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Of course, we cannot work for our salvation; that is a gift of God through His grace. This “work out” has a very interesting concept. It means to work to full completion, to accomplish all, to finish fully. It was used in Greek times in the sense of working out a mine, getting all the ore out of it that was possible, or working a field, getting the best harvest one could get by toiling in the field to make it produce well. Our goal is to become Christ-like, an overwhelming goal but one which we are to strive towards, getting everything valuable out of our “mine” and the best harvest possible out of our “field”. Our lives have tremendous potential, the gold you spoke of. We are to work out, while God works in.

Verse 13 again uses the word work, a totally different Greek word, meaning to prove oneself strong, to make oneself felt by energetic working. God is the One working in this verse. He is the Energy of the Universe! In fact, that word in the Greek is where we get our English word energy. It is God who works in us both to will and to do (the same Greek word as “work”) for His good pleasure. He tells us to work out our salvation and then tells us that He is the One doing it, energizing us, proving Himself strong. He puts us to work in our "mine", yet He is the One who enables us. I can grasp that concept and relate real well with your analogy of sifting through the tons of dirt.

But I never thought of applying that to my mothering skills, looking for the gold within them amongst the natural dirt of sinful humanity, helping them to recognize dirt for what it was, remove it, and keep digging for the gold. More than anything on earth, I want my children to be pleasing to the Father. And as their mom, I want to be there to help them do that.

I still have twin boys at home, 16 years old, and they still have me. I intend to begin today to set up my columns of golden and not-so-golden and make the most of helping them remove the dirt and find the gold. There are also 17 grandchildren and one great grandson that I can help look for gold in their hearts. Your inspiration to me has come late, but God's timing is always right, so its delay was right. Now I must get busy. Time is fleeting and my family is waiting.

In Christ,

Anonymous Jean said...

Thank you for your encouraging words. Being a mom can make me feel overwhelmed at times and I get down on myself when I don't feel as though I have it all together. I have an 12 yr. old son and an 8 yr. old daughter.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have 3 boys 15,13,10 and this truly has blessed me as a mom to seek to look at there gold and not thier dirt because just as god ssek our gold and didnt look at our dirt its just as important to look at them and not their faults! thank you so much.

Blogger AnooCre8ion said...

Renee, thank you for this devotional today. Only yesterday I talked to my kids, son 13 and daughter 16 about renewing their devotional time with God.

It is an area of their lives that I find they are slipping in, but I realize in the midst of my busy days of moving and all else recently I too have been slipping. So I realize that it's my example they are living. In thinking about it, I felt so condemned, like oh my, I am slipping again in my effort to draw closer to God.

Thank you for your reminder that we can't do it without God.

Bless you

Anonymous Dana said...

Thank you for your devotional. It spoke to my heart. How many times I have aked what am I doing wrong? Why is does it have to be so hard? I have been on my knees and cling to the Lord to get me through. I think we all need to have our perspective refocused and this devotional provided additional encouragement to move in the direction I want to. God has given me guidance when I have gone to him for help with situations with my children. I thank you for sharing the revelation God brought to you. It is soooo nice to know I am not alone in this. Parenting is hard, but how we go into it can make all the difference. I am the parent of three children, 2 boys and a girl, ages 10,7, & 4. Thank you for being real-so I know that I do not need to be discouraged.

Anonymous Carolyn said...

Oh, I forgot. My kids ages are 21, 18, 17, 16, 10, 8, and 6. Three are children born from my womb and 4 were born in my heart.


Blogger Angie said...

I try to remember that my kids are gold - or at least that it is there under the screaming controlling 6 year old I listen to some days. Yes, she is a perfectionist, she is thoughtful and independent. I love those traits until she is running over her 3 year old sister and trying to take over the house. Thanks for reminding me that while I am not perfect I have value in God's eyes and that he blessed me with my 4 children because he knows I can do this with HIS help, too often I try on my own and do not show His image...and oh how I see this in my kids (ages 9, 6, 3 and 10mos). Thanks for the reminder, I need to stop and go to God more often than I do so he can mine gold in me to pass on to my children.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee, truly needed this devotional. I'm a little different - I have a 23 and 17 year old. 17 year old has been a struggle the last few years and I have felt like such a failure. God is teaching me so much about loving her and seeing her good and not just the negative. She is a beautiful young woman getting ready to go off to college and I would like to begin now making her aware of her gold. I hope I have enough time before she leaves home. God is beginning to do a great work in my life and in our home. I am new to this web site and have been blessed tremendously. thank you for all your dedication and love for Christ and women.


Blogger tracy said...

What a blessing your devotion was today. I have a 20-year old son in college and 10-year old twins at home. The twins are boy/girl and they are becoming a handful. Very different personalities and ways of expression leave me emotionally drained virtually everyday and lately I have been struggling to see the beauty in their hearts. Thank you for the encouragement and sharing your struggles as a mother. It is such a help knowing other mothers go through similar issues.

Tracy (

Anonymous Mel said...

Hi Renee,
Oh man am I just exactly in this spot. Every day the devotional is applicable to my life but today I don't think I have ever connected quite as much. I have a 7 (almost 8) year old and a 7 month old. Life is crazy hectic. I work two jobs both of which I really love, plus being a mom to my two kids. With my husband in school, it is really important that I work right now. In a year or two when he finishes up, there is hope that I will cut back to part time with only one position and the role of a part time stay at home mom.
I think with the huge age difference - its often an uphill battle. With my little boy Reece I am working on responsibility for his "things" from homework to returning notes and library books, to picking up clothes, putting away his jacket and shoes, and not smarting off, etc....on the other hand with the baby, Rylee, we are in the midst of teething, and establishing a bed time routine (and its not going well) and not sleeping and she has discovered teeth can bite mommy too. Its a daily struggle but your story reminded me that this too is a struggle and a burden that God wants to carry for me - what an awesome truth!
Thanks for your words - that continue to point me back to the One who gladly carries it all for me!

Anonymous said...

Renee, I realy enjoyed your devotional today! This is the first time I've read your blog. Today just happens to be my 38th birthday. Jeff and I have 3 children, two girls and one boy; Cortney 17, Casey 13, and Jeffy Jr 3. So needless to say our lives are usually crazy. I'm blessed to be able to stay-at-home with Jeffy but sometimes I feel there is more pressure on me to the 'perfect' mom now that I'm home. Atleast when I worked I felt like I had an excuse when things went wrong or things didn't get done. I know this is my calling from God right now, and that this is such a short season in life. He reminds me daily to enjoy those little nuggets of gold, overlook the dirt and dust and know all is well. I wanted you to know I am so very thankful for your courage to put our struggle out there for all of us to read. It helps to know I'm not the only mom who has impossible days and that I just need to refocus on Him. Thank You! Pam (

Blogger Sandy said...

Thank you for making me realize that there is "gold" in my daughters' hearts and that I should concentrate in digging for gold rather than messing with the dirt (the winning, the arguments, the bad attitude, etc).

I think that as Christians we are called to discipline our children and the best way to accomplish that is leading by example. Gold takes time to be found and then takes even more time to be shaped into something beautiful.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the encouragment. I'm going to remember to look past the dirt and look for the "gold" in my 10 year old daughter instead!

Blogger valerie in TX said...

Renee, I cannot tell you how much I relate to your "feeling like a failure" days. I feel that way every day. I definitely need to learn how to look for the gold in my children, rather than the dirt.

I have an 8 y.o. daughter and a son who will be 6 next month...and is starting to get into trouble at school b/c he's BORED! How do you discipline that?!

Anonymous Venita said...

Wow, what a great devotion, I really needed to hear that. I have five children ages 13, 11, 9, 6, and 3. I recently had foot surgery and have days where I am so down on myself for not being up to par and needless to say when I am hard on myself I don't make it any easier for my children either. Digging for the gold is a wonderful example and I plan to work on that not only on my kids but on myself and how God sees me as well. God is using you in an awesome way, thank you and God Bless.

Anonymous Suzanne said...

I just loved your devotional today. As a mom of three, a 17 year son and boy/girl twins that are 14 I spent a lot of time when they were younger looking for gold. Each child presented new specks of gold in the different areas of their lives. Today we continue looking for gold but cherish the gold we have found. I love being a mom and wish I didn't have to work full-time so I could spend more recreational time with my children.

Thanks for sharing your story..

Anonymous Mary Lynn said...

Your devotion today is perfect for the struggle I have been experiencing- I have wanted to quit because I just can't do it - do it all- I am trying to reconnect with God so that I can feel His presence and hear Him in all I do- especially parenting.
I have 2 (5yr and 3yrs)

Anonymous Shelly said...

Thanks for the uplifting encouragement. It is so easy become negative and feel like we are failing as moms, since we don't often get encouragement for a job well done, a glowing performance review or a raise on a paycheck to remind us how well we are doing. It is sometimes a struggle to pour ourselves out into something that may not yeild dividends for 5, 10 or even 20 or more years. But I try to remember that God will bless our attempts eventually, even though it may be years and years from now. I have 4 kids ages 10 1/2, 9 5 and 3 1/2 years, and too often forget that there is a purpose in all the endless dirt digging. I needed the reminder that I can't forget to look for the gold, and not just see the dirt!

Anonymous Angie Swanbeck said...

Just this morning, my husband and I were discussing our girls' behavior. They are 6 and 8. His method of discipline is not my style.(lots of yelling) I prefer to lovingly correct my children, but neither way seems to work. They both have a lot of "gold" qualities and I am praying for God's guidance as we try to parent our children in a loving yet disciplined way.

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