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When You Say ‘Yes’ to an Older Child

I broke out into a terrible rash all over my body. Doctors could not figure out where it was coming from. I cut out dairy, and soy, and gluten. I took supplements and oils and creams and steroids. Nothing, nothing would make it stop. I started every morning literally on my face before God, crying out for just enough grace for that day. There were weeks, I would just pray for grace in the moment. Looking ahead to the next one was too overwhelming.

I mostly mourned for my little kids. What had we said yes to? Did we ruin their life? What did we steal from them? How would this affect Selah, our oldest? I’ll never forget one morning I was crying out to God in regard to them. I felt Him say to me, “What I’ve called you to, I’ve called them to as well. Let me be the One to parent their hearts. I’m a way better parent than you.” Whoa. Loud and clear, Father.

Things were still hard, they saw and experienced things I wish they didn’t. But I had the word of the Lord over their life. And I knew that if He had called Brandon and I to this, He also called them too. And He doesn’t call us to something He doesn’t provide for.

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It took time if I’m honest. A lot of time for him to feel like mine. But right when he did, he left after Christmas just as suddenly as he came. And those months after when I think of them, I remember a dark cloud. It was like half of my heart was missing. Like a death in our family, that no one noticed, except he was still living. My little kids stood at the window every day as the bus drove down the street waiting for their brother to get off it, and he never did. And it was horrible.

But I knew we would be alright. I knew that he got to experience for the first time in his life, a healthy family. He saw a strong man love a woman and treat her with respect. He saw a mother who cared tenderly for him. He felt what it was like to live in the context of family, as hard and uncomfortable as it was sometimes. I knew we got to give him that gift for a season. And it was an honor.

A few months passed, and we got the same call, except this time he was in foster care, and we knew it would probably be permanent. He came home and we started our journey again together. I’ve never learned more from any other human being in the world than him. He has taught me more of the Father’s love for me than I could ever read about.

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Our story together has been anything from easy, but a little boy has learned how to be a son.

And although I’m biased, I think he will change the world.

Older children need moms too. They need someone to wipe their tears when they cry, to tuck them in at night, to listen to their dreams. I would even go as far to say they need moms and dads more. I love my little kids more than life itself, but this boy, he swells my heart with so much pride. He’s walked through fire and come out on the other side, thriving. I know his healing journey isn’t over, much like mine, but my son, he’s a warrior boy, and I’ve never been more proud of anyone in my life.

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A few months ago, just as I was closing his door to his bedroom at night, he stopped me and said, “Mommy, you’re a really good Mom.” I closed the door and slid down it in silent sobs. Because those words, coming from that boy, meant more to me than any accolade I could ever receive.

When you say yes to an older child, it’s a whole different ball game. But just as deep the pain, so is that much more the joy.

ALL PHOTOS BY JENNA MILLS PHOTOGRAPHY

For Mother’s Day this year he was asked what his favorite thing about me was, and he said, “That she’s my mom.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

Jessica Satterfield
Jessica Satterfield
Jessica has seen the goodness of God in the midst of the heartbreak of infertility and the joys of adoption. Her life has been one with lots of hard, but it’s in the invitation found in the hard, where she has found deep intimacy with the Father. She is an adoption advocate and passionate about encouraging other moms throughout their journeys of motherhood. She is a stay at home mama by day and writer/blogger by night. She lives in South Carolina with her life crush, Brandon, and their two heart grown children, Selah and Micah. She adores the Lord with other women through her online community and Bibles studies held in her home. Jessica’s writing was published in Adopted for Daily Life: A Devotional for Adopting Moms. She speaks to women about the faithfulness of the Father in her story, but how it can also be found in theirs. She is a contributor for an online community of mamas at motherhoodinspired.com. She would love for you to follow along in her journey at www.gracewhilewewait.com or on Instagram.

Chip and Joanna Gaines: 11 Godly Secrets to an Epic Marriage and Family

Chip and Joanna Gaines are teaching us important lessons about marriage and family as they walk away from their HGTV show for the sake of their family.

‘My abuser is here today’: Miss Kansas Uses Interview Portion of Pageant to Call Out Abuser Before Being Crowned

Miss Kansas 2024, Alexis Smith, has captured national attention not just for her beauty and charisma, but for her bravery in addressing a deeply personal and harrowing issue: domestic abuse.

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