Remain Present: Keep Jesus in the Everyday

(written by Emily Matthews)

My family spent fall break “adventuring” across Tennessee’s mountains and through the pretty fall foliage.

It was a fantastic morning at Rock City. If you’ve been you know that once you are close to the top you choose between a stone bridge or a swinging rope bridge to cross. We chose the rope bridge. It’s intimidating, even for adults. So – naturally – we took 4 small kids across. The views are amazing, but it’s kind of scary. But, we were getting across this bridge since we committed.

One third of the way across, panic set in. The oldest in front jumped to make the bridge sway even more than it already was and everyone freaked. Picture it: Me, squatting down with one kid grabbing the back of my hips and another on front, slowly inching forward.

Suddenly, my 4 year old, Caleb, yelled “God is with us! God is with us!”  Then the other kids started saying it.

And you know what? We made it across. 


{Incidentally, Caleb’s namesake in the Bible (see Numbers 13) was also the only one who had faith that God would help them take the promised land. And he was the only one who was allowed to enter it when God had them stay in the desert for 40 years. Kind of fitting, right?!} 

If you have ever been around my family, you know we are a hot mess. Loud. Obnoxious. Running in different directions. Me yelling at (at least) one of my kids.

It is easy to look at the everyday mess of motherhood and think:

My kids are so bad.

No one listens to me.

They are all disrespectful. They will all end up in jail one day.

I am terrible at this.

And then, one lovely fall day, your 4 year old shows you you are doing it right! He was scared, and he remembered God is with him. This is a parenting win – every time. 


We want our kids to be well behaved, respectful kids. But, my momma friends – I have nothing to say about this. Nothing. And if I tried to give you parenting advice you shouldn’t listen. (Especially if you know me well. 😜)

What I do know is this – keep pointing to Jesus.

Of course your kids are a mess. (And so are you, just like I am). They are kids. It’s a work in progress.

Our job is to show them God. Talk about God in our home. So it’s a normal, everyday thing. Tuck His Truth in their hearts.

Young adults are leaving the church in record numbers. I once heard the one thing common to all those who remained in the faith was that the gospel was CENTRAL in their home. A part of their everyday – not in the peripheral.

If you only talk about Jesus on Sunday, your kids will eventually come to think that he isn’t that important. First-hand faith for young people leads to changed lives and commitment to Jesus as they get older.

So my encouragement to you is to embrace the messy, and keep an eye out for the glimpses of the Kingdom work you are doing in your home.

And maybe even your kids can teach you something too.


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