Last week I felt very small. Tiny even. Gazing upon the majestic mountains in Utah will do that to you. The emotional minutia I carried with me into vacation took second stage to awe and wonder. And the experience was freeing and refreshing for my tired soul.

I don’t know about you, but the mom thing’s been pressing in on me lately. The weight of this broken world buckles my heart with worry, fear, doubt, frustration, sadness. Our kids aren’t safe. Period. And that’s just a teaser of what keeps us moms up at night.

But, seeing God’s grandeur always helps put life into perspective, and the great nature maker didn’t disappoint during my seven-day escape. Our artistic Creator spoke a profound message about our role versus His in the parenting gig. Mostly a reminder that His role is waaaaaay bigger.

So, remember the guy named Paul who talked about mirrors back in the Jesus day? His message in 2 Corinthians 3:18 referenced humans as being “mirrors that brightly reflect the Glory of the Lord.[1]

Sure, Paul. I mean, how hard can it be to project the strength and security of God from these frail human containers when bad stuff’s happening all around us?


Like super challenging, I don’t know how this is even possible some days kind of hard.

And on those tough days when life turns us inside out it’s kinda sorta impossible to feel like we can reflect positive, trusting vibes let alone God’s glory–help us all.

Which happens to be the heart of the message God revealed to me out in Park City with the use of some simple props: majestic mountains, brilliant blue skies, blazing sunshine, fluffy clouds, and two perfectly still lakes. You know, everyday storytelling items.

Turns out the magic of His message is what happened inside the water. When the lake was smooth like glass, the mountains and clouds reflected in the water with crystal clarity, doubling the splendor. But when a breeze caused a ripple across the surface, the entire reflection disappeared.  This was a mind-blowing realization for me. I sat in slack-jawed amazement while witnessing the transformation, tossing the reality around in my heart for a while and pondering what the parallel was to life.

That’s when God reminded me of the mirror scripture. The thing is, if a body of water needs to be perfectly still to cast a reflection, then so do we. And if a ripple in a body of water eliminates a reflection, then so will we fail to reflect love if we simply go through the motions of life, always letting our circumstances blow us around.

Ripples in life happen mostly because we want to do the control thing. And when we realize we can’t, we fret over all that’s uncertain, painful, scary, exhausting, and disappointing. The problem is, trying to go it alone when life gets messy will never calm the waters. Only God has the power to settle our soul. We just need to get out of our own way and let Him do all the big stuff while we follow His lead, through trustful surrender.

Babies reflect love all the time. It’s who they are and all they know. Because they are still deeply connected to the Divine source, it is second nature for babies to “be still in God’s presence.” The aura of love surrounding them is what causes us to act like liquored-up orangutans. We become lanky armed, toothy grinned, falsetto speaking goofballs the minute we see a little Gerber. One look and our heart becomes mush and everything around us dissipates into thin air. Poof! All is right with the world.

When it comes to adulting, love is also who we are, but unfortunately not all we know. When we grow up the shiza happens which can make us nutty, frazzled, angsty, befuddled, afraid, twisted up. Sometimes like a less happy version of a liquored-up orangutan. The practice of “being still in God’s presence” is no longer second nature. Which means if we aren’t mindful and making a conscious effort, the reflecting of the love is probably not going on as much as we think.

God went out of His way in Utah to remind me how badly our kids need us to be healthy mirrors. How important it is for us to be aware of when we get in the rut of going through the motions so we can turn to Him to calm the air. When we reflect God’s glory and love the best we can, the positive castings become hope for our kids to hold on to. They in turn learn how to become unblemished mirrors for others as they grow up.

The best way for us to do these things is to get small and silent. Then God can get gigundo and boisterous. And if it takes gazing at mountains to help us, then so be it. I’m praying we all get better at letting God manage the uncontrollables. Our episodes of worry and doubt only cause more ripples, and life blows enough wind of its own.

Let’s be still in His presence, crazy Mommas. Then we’ll shine his love to others by default.




[1] 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT)

If you liked this post, you may enjoy Why We Need to Lean Into the Moments, Mommas

Do you or a fellow Momma need some heart encouragement? Subscribe to Shelby’s monthly Grace Notes and receive 3 FREE Chapters of her new book with Lisa Leshaw, “How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don’t need to say, “I’m fine.”) The two of them share short reflections on their perspective of 31 motherhood emotions, each tied to a specific Psalm. The cool thing is, Shelby is a Jesus groupie and Lisa is a Moses devotee!

Shelby is a self-described “sappy soul whisperer and sarcasm aficionado” who has a deep love for Jesus and storytelling. She is a wife of 28 years and a momma of three 20-something kiddos. As a freelance writer and author, you can find her words in the national publication, Guideposts, and all over the web at places like Her View From Home, Today, Parenting Teens & Tweens, Love What Matters, Scary Mommy, and others. Shelby also has a new online mothering course called, Mindful Mothering: When You Change the Way You Look at Things, the Things You Look at Change, and she blogs over at