no greater joy

dan & i spend a lot of time talking about what we think the girls will grow up to be. where they’ll go to school. what type career they’ll choose. we aren’t outspoken with them regarding “have to’s”.  they may think we have a list of rules, but we really don’t.

i met a precious blog reader this weekend ( hi joanna!) who’s expecting her first baby boy in april. she told me that she was encouraged about the somewhat dreaded teenage years by reading my blog. i was so delighted to hear her say that because i remember being right where she was. that precious stage of expectation. the days of snuggling a wonderfully delicious baby and knowing all is right in your little world. you’re there for first words & first steps. you tuck them in at night & choose what they’ll eat.  you create play groups and create their little environment. it’s safe and precious and tender and you’re mommy.  you’re who they look to and long to be with.

you hear of middle school and braces.  and boys. sixteen & drivers license, makeup and highheels. and thongs. you aren’t there to tuck them in everynight and don’t know every little detail of their everyday any longer. you hug your toothless angel and thank the lord you aren’t there yet.

but i must tell you two things. number one, it probably isn’t going to be anything as dreadful as you imagine. and number two, it might actually become your favorite stage.

yes i miss my mary jane wearing , smocked dress and big hair bow, baby girls. but i really love this stage. even more than the little stage. i really do.

a couple of my girls don’t really like each other right now ( born mighty close together). at all really. at least once a week i snap at one of them. they think i’m a prude and won’t laugh at “bridesmaids”. i remind them i’m pretty darn cool. i have a tattoo to prove it. they better not forget who introduced them to classic rock, how to choose fabulous boots and MAC. thankyouverymuch. but it’s not all kumbaya around here. believe me.

you want your children to like spinach and bran cereal. you expect them to buckle up and not smoke pot. you encourage them to make wise choices and surround themselves with people they respect. you beg & plead strongly encourage them to wait until their wedding night. and you want them to love jesus.

but when they do these things out of their own convictions, not because mom & dad said so, then you have arrived. you can sit back & exhale a collective cleansing breath & high five your hubby.

but let me tell you, when they love jesus because they love jesus. with all their own  heart, soul &  mind. then everything else honestly will fall right in to place. you don’t have to create their little protective environment. you don’t have to pick & chose their friends. or their college. you can swallow the “oh my gosh please don’t let them leave the country, or move to an inner city, or pierce their nose” fears a heck of a lot easier.


my savannah came out of the womb as an independent trail blazer. she’s a go getter. she’s not ( much to my dismay) a home body. her love tank is always on full and she’s low maintenance. it has been awesome and maybe even scary, to watch her life unfold these last couple years.  dan & i were talking the other night about what she’s thinking and praying about doing this summer for an internship. i asked him if this was a good idea, would this help with her major.

he said, paige, yes, she’s in terry business college & yes she’s a business major. but right now she’s pretty much majoring in jesus. her heart and her passions all revolve around Him and telling others about Him. that’s what she talks about. that’s what excites her.

our church is planting a church in athens, Grace Athens. when savannah heard about this, coming to her campus, she was beyond fired up. she’s gone to meetings & been involved in some of the planning.

i woke this morning to seeing this image on facebook.  their first gathering was last night. there she is, front and center. my trailblazer. (peach dress, taupe boots) completely surrendered to Him. wide open. who cares if she ate her spinach when she seven or who her friends were when she was in 7th grade ( that’s actually a pretty cool story). she loves Him. and honestly, that’s all that matters…


I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

3john 1.4

January 14, 2013 - 2:05 pm

Kelly - You are blessed…I am waiting…trusting. For I agree, there can be NO greater JOY than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. I’m half way there.

January 14, 2013 - 2:52 pm

angela - That is the verse on my Blog homepage because TRULY, there is NO greater joy! How attractive it should be to a college girl see a young man worshipping Jesus! Come on girls…you must agree!!!!! I always said I wanted my kids SOLD OUT to Jesus….You are correct, everything else will fall into place!!! Praise the sweet sweet name of Jesus!

January 14, 2013 - 3:02 pm

heather - This right here is why I have always loved your blog…. you show the goodness on the other side of the middle school/high school years. smk is beautiful inside and out! love that picture!
hopefully I will survive these middle school girls! 😉

January 14, 2013 - 3:52 pm

lisa - LOVE to see her front and center. i know what that means when you have a child in a college town and when you peek over the fence to see what’s happening, and THIS is what you see!!

and my two big boys do NOT like each other right now – they are 17 months apart and have always been competitive. now they can just be downright JERKS to each other. i take comfort in the fact that TIME will probably heal this. at least, i hope it will…


January 14, 2013 - 4:06 pm

Amy Avery - This post just gave me good chills to see your girl there front and center loving Jesus the way she was meant to do. God knew what he was doing in giving her those independent trail blazing gifts and talents. I just love hearing about how he is workig in her life. I don’t wish the moments that I have with my girls at seven and five away for anything in the world, but when I read about your girls’ and their realationship with God, I pray that my girls will have just as much of a wonderful realationship with God when they are older too. Hope your week is off to a wonderful start!

January 14, 2013 - 4:10 pm

Alecia - I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My favorite quote is that right now she’s majoring in Jesus! Can’t wait to see where the Lord takes her with all of this.

January 14, 2013 - 5:33 pm

Maria - I am sitting here crying, thinking of SMK and all the prayers lifted up that she would make wise choices in college and stay close to Jesus…maybe she should be praying for me instead. LOL.

January 14, 2013 - 6:21 pm

Susan - Can I just get a tissue please? Love this!! It’s not an easy season ever with the kids….we never know. But I am so happy that we have a God who does. A God who is in control! Praising Him with you all today!

January 14, 2013 - 6:53 pm

Beth Templeton - Yes, Yes, Yes! To love and serve and know the love of Jesus is really all we want as parents. All the things we desire for our children are hidden right there– in their relationship with Him. Let it be Lord. Captivate their hearts. Let that photo of Savannah be one that each of us mothers see in one way or another in each of our children.

January 14, 2013 - 8:49 pm

kerri - A picture is worth a thousand words and this picture gives me goose bumps. so happy for smk and for you!

January 14, 2013 - 10:04 pm

Tammie - Paige, I love how that you are so real and true, when I see you have a new post I can not get to it soon enough. I always leave feeling so good. Thanks for that.

January 14, 2013 - 10:56 pm

LLH Designs - Now that’s what I call majoring on the majors. Jesus is the main thing. Everything else is a minor thing. If I were in your shoes as a mama, I’d be rejoicing all the way across the country…just like you are! xoxo!

January 15, 2013 - 11:16 am

Lindsey - This brought me to tears. You go, Mom!! Praying for all your little lights. May they keep shining the light of Jesus everywhere they go!

January 15, 2013 - 12:08 pm

Charis Mouritsen - Her love of Jesus IS all that matters! Thank you for reminding me that grades (while important) are not the ultimate goal for my son. His love of his Saviour is the ultimate goal.

January 15, 2013 - 12:48 pm

susie - Paige, What a wonderful story. You’ve done such an amazing job raising your girls and you are such an inspiration to the rest of us. Thanks for sharing.

Have a wonderful day,

January 15, 2013 - 6:34 pm

tiffany day - oh amen Paige! Amen indeed! I have a 13 and 14 year old (girl and boy) and its now I don’t sweat the small stuff as much – I try my best to teach by example – I am really really loving these years, this precious time – as much as if not more than the years of holding them until they fell asleep. For our children to follow their convictions and Him – to walk out their life with a heart of Jesus and His word – nothing better!

I think if we embrace every phase of parenting, we can get through it easier, and not miss it so much when the next one comes along – we can’t hold onto the past too much or else is interferes witht he present and future – we have to let them go a little at a time – and I have found when I start giving them room — they take it but they come back and that is wonderful!

Thank you for sharing this!


January 21, 2013 - 9:50 am

Jeannine - This is AWESOME. I linked to you when you wrote “Just You Wait” because I found you so encouraging on this very topic, but this is even better. Oh, boy. How much do you ♥ that picture of Savannah?!

March 9, 2013 - 10:51 pm

jane @ See Jane Learn - Oh my goodness. I “filed” this post and just read it tonight. As Mom of four; 19,21,24,26 I loved reading and relating to what you wrote. It IS so amazing when our kiddos claim their faith in Jesus as their own. Almost all mine have…watching as #4 goes through some growing pains in her freshman college year. I’ve had the joy of watching one daughter choose ministry and one son choose to major in theology. My other two are using their full hearts in teaching and art and always relationships. I love your blog and LOVE your home and wish I didn’t live on the other side of the country so we could be friends. Thank you for sharing.

July 29, 2013 - 8:56 pm

Shon - Simply beautiful and this is where I am at the moment!! Amen to all what you said here.

I am a new follower via the giveaways at JDC!! Thanks for sharing!


August 6, 2015 - 10:56 pm

Joanna - Thank you for this post! Can’t believe its been over 2 years since I met you (and acted like a crazy fan!) at Which Wich. My little man is 2 already. This post meant so much to me when I read it then and it means so much more now. Thank you for speaking Truth to this mommy! Praying for my sweet little guy to fall in love with Jesus. And, for a little while longer, enjoying the days when a kiss and a snuggle make everything better.