When Cookie Cutters Won’t Cut It

I stood at the counter, preparing sandwiches for three little lunch boxes.

Ethan, who is six and extremely eager, is my big helper.  And a highly opinionated helper, at that.

“Mom, I really want you to cut my sandwich into a heart for tomorrow.”

He opens the bottom cabinet and rummaged through a small, red crate full of cookie cutters.

“Use this one.”

He tosses up a Valentine’s heart and it lands beside my assembly line.

“Will you cut the crust off with that?”

“Sure thing.”

“Oh, and I’d like a note from you. Will you write me a note, too?

Will you say, ‘I love you, Ethan’ or something like that?”

Opening a pencil box full of markers he picks out one red and one blue.

“Will you write the words in blue?  And draw hearts in red?”

“Yes,” I smile. ” Anything else?”

“No, that’s good.”

He scurried up the steps, leaving me to my napkin and crayola markers.


Ethan takes all of the guess-work out of loving him well.  His needs are black and white.  Heart-shaped sandwiches and love notes go a long way with him.  But one day it won’t be so easy, you know?

He may grow too big (and too proud) to openly share what makes him feel loved.  My boys are still at the age where a milkshake and a hug can cure anything.

But I see on the horizon, change is imminent.

My nine-year-old, Grant, he’s starting to get tricky.

I’ve noticed him pulling away quicker when we hug and he walks a couple of feet in front of me

when step in school.  And  oh, heaven forbid I ever take a cookie cutter to his lunch.

He might melt of embarrassment.

This is to be expected, I know.  {sigh}  But that doesn’t make it easier.

Still, God has given us children to nurture, train and … love.  And love like crazy.

No one has ever seen God; If we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12

Stop to think…your children can see a glimpse of God by the love you show them.  Astounding.

We are a vessels of love…and not just any love, but GOD’S LOVE to our children.

So what do we do when napkins and heart-shaped sandwiches no longer cut it?

How do we love effectively when love languages change?  Or when they outgrow how we’ve loved them for years?

WE ABIDE.  Yes, keep abiding in Him.  And His love will be “perfected in us.”

He will show us exactly what our babies need. Even when our babies tower over us.

God equips us well.  He gave us Himself.

As my Father has loved me, so I have loved you.  Abide in my love.  These things I command you, so that you will love one another.  John 15:9,17

We aren’t called to love our children perfectly.

We are called to abide in Him.  

And watch God’s perfect love … love them like crazy.

One age, He may love with cookie-cutters.  At another it may be a high-five.

But whatever His method…it will be “perfect.”

And always age-appropriate.


8 thoughts on “When Cookie Cutters Won’t Cut It

  1. I have been a faithful reader of your blog for a year now but have never commented. This morning I can’t even tell you how the Lord, through you, spoke to my heart! My precious 1st born 9 year old and I had a rough morning. I kept thinking “where has my sweet baby gone?”. We ended on a great note thanks to prayer, patience (on my part) and had a long hug (which has become more rare). Thank you for reminding to continue to abide in Him and cherish the season we are in now!

    • Sweet Kelly. I am so thankful the Lord used this!! I feel you on the “where has my sweet baby gone” feeling. Somedays I feel as if I need to curl up in a hole and read “Bringing Up Boys” until it is committed to memory!

  2. I so needed to hear this, in my heart, today! Our boys are growing before our eyes. I ❤ U, Miss Becky! I wish we still lived close enough to give you a big old hug at school drop off. 🙂

  3. Great encouragement Becky! In the Parents with Teens class they talk about how the emotional needs for our kids change as they become older. Kevin Huggins reminded us how even though they might not need the “physical” hug they still need the “emotional” hugs to keep there “emotional” bucket filled. For my almost 13 year old, food, trips to the Apple store with him “to look” and play with all the gadgets and watching BBC’s Top Gear with him fills his “emotional” bucket to the brim! He even is known to snuggle with me on the couch! Shhh!

  4. Oh Becky, can it be true that our boys are changing! What a minute I think that is suppose to happen, right? I’m thinking out loud, excuse me. I can relate so much to your message- thank you for it- I too needed the reminder that God will equip us as mothers. He is so faithful to give us all that we need. Love ya friend 🙂

I means so much to hear from you!

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