Seeing the Fruit of Grace In Parenting

by Guest Blogger Jeannie Ewing

My oldest daughter, Felicity, is newly fascinated with how babies grow in their mother’s wombs. Shortly after she turned five, she would muse aloud, “Tell me about when I was in your tummy, Mommy.” Without thinking, I shared the story of when my husband and I first saw her on the early ultrasound, when she was about eight weeks old. I was considered “high risk” for pregnancy, so my husband and I were relieved when we saw our “little bean” and heard her heartbeat on the Doppler.

Felicity’s eyes widened as I demonstrated how small she was at the time – “about the size of my thumb nail,” I told her. “Is that how small I was to begin with?” she inquired. “No, sweetheart,” I lovingly replied, “you were so small when you began that we wouldn’t be able to see you, almost like a period at the end of a sentence.”

pregnancy and toddler

Photo by Juan Galafa, unsplash.com

Recognizing this as a teaching moment, I continued, “Do you think you weren’t a baby, just because we couldn’t see you?” She shook her head without hesitation, as if to say, “Duh, that’s a no-brainer, Mom!” In fact, her response was appropriate, even though she was speaking from a five-year-old perspective, yet I was listening as an adult jaded by over three decades of life.

“Remember, Mommy, ‘a person’s a person, no matter how small,’ just like Horton said!”

I offered her a knowing smile. “Yes, Felicity, you are right.  I just wondered if you knew that, but I can see you know a lot more!”

So imagine my amazement when, a few nights later, my husband and I were attempting to discuss the latest horrific news regarding abortion. Our attempt at spelling apparently failed, but the rationale was noble – we didn’t want to corrupt our daughters with such violent truths.

But Felicity, being the sensitive and perceptive child that she is, piped in with something I wish every person in the world could have heard. It was not some form of indoctrination she’d picked up in our home. It was nothing we’d ever explained to her. It was, quite simply, the Holy Spirit’s inspiration in her heart because of her purity and innocence.

“A good mommy would never want to kill her baby.”

With that, Ben and I hugged and affirmed her statement of truth. But we wanted her to know that some moms are scared when they learn a baby is growing inside of them, so we pray for these moms and for their babies.

Being pro-life in our family isn’t just about being anti-abortion, though that is necessarily at the core of our worldview. Being pro-life, for us, extends beyond the labels and into recognizing the dignity of every human person, no matter how small or disabled or elderly or infirm. We try to live as pro-life witnesses – without uttering a word – because both of our daughters have special needs, and our youngest was born with a rare genetic condition that will require numerous surgeries over the course of her lifetime.

Sometimes – oftentimes – it’s the children themselves who speak such truth with resounding clarity, honesty, and logic. If my five-year-old knew something that many adults in our modern culture convolute with complicated thinking, then my husband and I are grateful for God’s grace in moments like these. We rely on His grace for all aspects of parenting – from feeding to sleeping habits and catechizing or teaching life skills.

At the end of the day, my prayer is, “Thank you, Lord, for the ways Your grace has compensated for my lack.  I see the fruits of Your grace in our girls, and I am humbled with Your goodness and love.”


About Jeannie Ewing

Jeannie Ewing

Jeannie Ewing

Jeannie Ewing believes the world focuses too much on superficial happiness and then crumbles when sorrow strikes. Because life is about more than what makes us feel fuzzy inside, she writes about the hidden value of suffering and even discovering joy in the midst of grief.  Jeannie shares her heart as a mom of two girls with special needs in Navigating Deep Waters: Meditations for Caregivers and is the author of From Grief to Grace: The Journey from Tragedy to TriumphJeannie has been featured on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition and dozens of other radio shows and podcasts.  For more information, please visit her websites lovealonecreates.com or fromgrief2grace.com. You can connect with Jeannie on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.

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