Category Archives: Parenting

Letters to Eisley #3

Dear Eisley Hope,

Grammie is staying at your mama and daddy’s house for a few days. Pops and I are getting a new roof on the house and it’s very messy and loud. Grammie isn’t real good with messy and loud, especially since you left us. So Watson and I came here to have some peace and quiet.

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I miss you so much. At first it was hard for me to stay here, I didn’t realize it would be….but you are everywhere in this home. We so desperately had hoped you could live here for a little while. After you left us, your Aunt Marie was careful to help pack all your things away before she returned to Romania. But I guess there are certain things your mama chose not to pack away.

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My heart gave a leap when I saw the quilt I had bought you this last Christmas. The cheerful yellow color peeked out at me as it is folded sweetly in the drawers of the dresser in the guest room where I stay. Maybe I will sleep with it tonight. Maybe I will feel closer to you. Maybe I will christen it with my tears. So many dreams we had for you baby girl. So very bittersweet.

The hardest part for me is your mama’s empty arms. The empty rocking chair. Your mama is such a natural mama, you might not realize this Eisley, but not everyone is. There were babies in your NICU with no mama around. However, your mama was created to understand little ones and she was beside you every moment she could be. She often noticed things before your NICU nurses did. I just wish people were more merciful with her.

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Mama’s are meant to fix things. Many things can be fixed with a kiss and a band-aid. I look at your mama and I realize there is no band-aid big enough to fix this pain. It is only something that Jesus can heal. The same was true for you. Your mama and I have walked a similar path. We both have beloved daughters with needs only Jesus can meet.

You are perfect now with no pain. For that I am thankful. The few times we could tell you were uncomfortable were unbearable. Your silent little cry coupled with our helplessness was almost too much to bear. Maybe that’s why Grammie desperately needs peace and quiet more than ever.

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I miss you so much Eisley. There will be more grandchildren…. Teddy is coming soon! But please know that no matter how many grandchildren Pops and I have, you will never be replaced, ever. Not only is your name tattooed on my foot, but my love for you Eisley Hope Klein Hutchinson is tattooed on my heart.

Until that day you run to greet me,

Love, Grammie XOXOXO


For a split second I wished I could step back in time…

As I lay in my bed alone, trying to sleep with a cast on my foot, I glanced at my wall beside my bed and something happened that has never happened before….I felt very old.

And for a split second I wished I could step back in time and be the mama to these little ones again. What would I do different?


I would recognize they were unique little creatures designed by God and embrace them as they were. I would not compare them to others which resulted in me worrying too much and trying to fix everything and anything that I thought might hinder them in their future adult life.


I would work to connect with their hearts and understand them as individual people. I would challenge them to figure out what God designed them for rather than mold them into what I thought they should be or what I wanted them to be. Spanking would be a last resort, not the first option.


I would have savored each moment, realizing they actually do grow up, they do quit wetting the bed, stop sucking their thumbs and all those things I spent so much time trying to change and fix.

I was well intended. I loved my little ones. I feared for their safety and desired to protect them. I wanted to be a good mama and to the best of my ability and knowledge at that point I was a devoted mama. My children sanctified me. They changed me and I am grateful for that.


Well, really it was the Holy Spirit using my children to sanctify me.

I know now that they are uniquely designed and created by God for His good plan and purpose and it is wrong to compare them to others.


I know now that children don’t have to be “fixed” to fit a mold, they just need to learn to be able to function in this world of ours and they do learn…each one in his or her own way.


I also realize that even though I am called to protect them, it needed to be done in faith in their Heavenly Father as the ultimate protector, not in fear.


I would have told them more about who Jesus is and how awesome He is, rather then how I thought Jesus wanted them to be and act.

Perhaps I am a little melancholy because there have been so many life changes…Andrew & his darling buying their first house, Timmers living in Seattle, Dora – the baby of the family growing up and moving out, my mom having a stroke, Marie & family living part time with us during their furlough, Sarah marrying her beloved Tanner, Addysen and Mercy moving back across the globe, Aaron & Cacey celebrating a dozen years of marriage…and now I am left with a very quiet house and pictures on the walls.

When I look at these pictures, my heart wells up with love…I guess I just wish I could hold their little soft bodies once more and take that extra time to cuddle them. To kiss the top of their head without scolding them, “How did you get so dirty?” But I can’t.

Thank God there is the joy of being a grammie… tonight my little grandson sleeps in the room next to me. He’s been with me most of the day. I have listened to him. I have been able to say yes to him many times and only a couple nos. His eyes lit up and his socks got muddy and jeans dirty as I let him water the plants today. I have read with him, and had him read to me. I have kissed the top of his head. Oh how he reminds me of his daddy.


And tomorrow evening he will be back with his mama because I really am old. My days for being the mama have passed but I can be a grace-filled Grammie….for this is my season now and I must embrace it and choose to live with no regrets.



Lessons from Cousin’s Camp

Mercy and Emma compressed

Cousin Camp was an ambitious idea allowing us to form relationships with our grandchildren and allowing the cousins to bond while giving their parents a much needed break.

This weekend is our 4th camp.

We always have a theme…this year we are talking about moving and trusting God.

We keep it short and simple. Every time we finish we are reminded at how wise God was to give us our little ones in our 20’s & 30’s not our 50’s & 60’s. Whew. I’m getting old.

We’ve borrowed Dr. Karen Purvis’s 3 camp rules:

#1 No hurts

#2 Respectful words

#3 Stick together

Interesting thing….almost any wrongdoing falls under these three stipulations….again simple.

I’ve actually found that these guidelines work well in marriage too.

I want to be a woman who never purposely hurts my husband. I want to align myself with Ephesians 5:33 that tells me to respect my husband. I want to have my husband’s back….we’re going to stick together and I’m not going to trash talk him. If I have a problem I’m going to live honesty and humbly with him. I’m going to treat him the way I want to be treated.

1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.”  This encourages me so much. In a marriage we don’t have to try to live perfectly… always focusing on our daily failures. We can walk in love and grace towards one another. This is the good news.

At the park today, a little boy’s cries echoed from the top of the slide. His mama got him and as he walked by I heard him tell her of the smack he received from another child. Hmmm, my grandchildren were at the top of that slide and since this is our 4th camp, I was pretty sure which one of my grandchildren smacked him.

I didn’t ask her if she did, why tempt her to lie? I asked her why she did it. In her innocence she explained why she believed it was needful to take control by using physical force. When asked what rule she broke, she immediately knew…”No hurts”. When asked what she should have done, she immediately answered, “Used my respectful words and say, please stop doing that.”

So today we got the opportunity to simply live out the good news of the gospel. I wish so much I had realized with my own children how simple it could be. Grammie helped her walk so very far to the table where strangers gathered and a little boy was consoling himself with chips.

My precious granddaughter told him, “It was wrong of me to hurt you. I am sorry. Please forgive me.” This sweet little boy answered “I will.” They are learning to walk in love and grace.

No  hurts….Respectful words….Stick together….

Try it in your marriage. Try it in your other relationships. And when you blow it – choose to walk in love and grace and say- “It was wrong of me to hurt you. I am sorry. Please forgive me.”

You might be surprised how quickly it is resolved when you hear their reply, “I will.”




This later season of life with grandchildren is a delight.

Grammie & Mercy

This later season of life with grandchildren is a delight. Perhaps it is because you have learned that the things that seemed so important really aren’t as important as you thought. You can simply enjoy the incredible simplicity of the child and relax.

Sure children are unique, complicated, created little individuals; however as you age and learn more about their Creator… you can stand in awe at how unimportant you really are. We would be wise to remember this.

I liken it to a child being a hunk of marble and as a parent we are simply a small tool, perhaps a chisel, in the hands of Jesus. As passionately as we love our children, as much as we want the best for them, He loves them far more and purer than we ever could. We would be wise to remember this.

God speaks through the prophet in Ezekiel 36:26-27 declaring – “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.”

He is the only One who can do the miraculous work of shaping them into the new person He desires them to become. We would be wise to remember this. It’s my privilege to remind you.