Five Minute Friday: beauty


He’s up before the sun, a snuggly body in footie pajamas beside me on the couch, and somehow I’m singing him a personalized version of “You Are my Sunshine,” ending with the sentiment that he’ll be mine always. And he echoes “always” at the end, and insists that I sing it “‘gin! ‘gin!” So I do. And he leans his head over onto the 40-weeks bump that is his baby brother, and looks up into my face while I sing to him that he is mine, and I don’t know how it could get any sweeter than this.

But soon — really and truly any day now — I’ll be singing over two of them, and how will my heart hold the love then? It won’t, will it? Properly proportioned love is never contained in hearts; it spills out perpetually, in smiles, and service, and gifts, and snuggles, and tears, and songs.

And this joy of mine? Only a shadow, a dim reflection, a taste of the love of God. We have joy in belonging to Him, as my boy takes joy in being mine, but the joy of the God to whom we belong is far greater than ours.

This is the God “who will rejoice over you with gladness; [the God who] will quiet you by his love; [who] will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

The “always” of which I sing to my son is bound by time, by my three-score and ten year allotment, but not so the love of God. When scripture says that His “steadfast love endures forever” (2 Chron. 7:3), it means forever. Beyond what we can count or measure, even theoretically, beyond and before time itself is the love of God.

He sings over us now; one day — soon, by any measure, when set against eternity — we’ll hear His song of exultation. That day will be a good day, indeed.


Linking up with the Five Minute Friday crew to write on today’s prompt: beauty. The button above will take you to the link-up where you can read all about it and see what others have written.

©2018 by Stacy Crouch

Five Minute Friday (on Monday): accept

Version 2

I set the shoes in an orderly row beside the door. He comes behind and throws them around the rug.

I fold the shirts into a neat stack. He yanks the stack off the couch.

I turn on the vacuum with my foot and set out across the carpet. He comes behind me and, imitating me, turns it off with his little foot.

And so it goes. His “helping” seems to double the work, which never ends at the best of times.

And I wonder: is this the actual state of my good works? As I try to be about my Father’s business, do I make more messes than I clean? As I try to be like Christ, do I heap more sins upon His cross? (Oh, yes.)

And yet, though I grow frustrated with my baby, my Father invites me into His labor, needing my help not at all, and makes of my messes something beautiful — He gets glory, even from these. And in the end? The Lord accepts these feeble efforts, and welcomes me home, saying “Well done.”


Belatedly linking up with the Five Minute Friday crew, writing on last week’s prompt, accept. Click the button above to visit the link-up.

©2017 by Stacy Crouch


Version 2

You walk, son. Confident in shoes now, you know no fear, despite frequent tumbles, and boldly climb our four brick steps adult-fashion, holding the rail and hoisting yourself up steps nearly hip-high for you.

But going down, you pause at the top: not to turn around and scoot down in the approved backwards-fashion, but to reach for my hand, which, without looking, you know will be there. Because I chase when I see you head that way. Because I won’t let you take that too-large step down and tumble head-long on the bricks.

One day, little boy, you’ll reach and I won’t be there — won’t be fast enough, watchful enough. One day, despite my best efforts, you’ll fall — maybe not down these steps, but somewhere painful.

But my Father? His hand will never fail me. Just as sure as you are of my hand — surer than that — I can be sure of my God. He establishes my steps. He upholds my hand. No matter how hard I lean, I can’t overbalance Him. No matter how suddenly I fall, I can’t catch Him by surprise. Nothing can snatch me out of His hand.

Oh son, may you place your tiny hand in His and walk thus confidently all your days!



Five Minute Friday: blessing


He doesn’t want to sleep tonight. Ten months old, exhausted, and hard-headed, all oblivious to the boon of bed time. Daddy took over, and as I listen to my son raging against sleep, I remember it: “This is the blessing.”

That children are a gift from the Lord is easy to remember when he snuggles sweetly against me, when he obeys swiftly, when he does any of the adorable things that make him him. And then we’re all three weary and he won’t sleep, and it’s not that I forget he’s a blessing, but I don’t feel immediate thankful thoughts in these times.

But we’re supposed to give thanks in all things, aren’t we? And I’d rather be kept awake a million times with him, than sleep and not be his mommy.


Linking up with Five Minute Friday — for the first time in a long time — to write on the prompt, blessing. The button above will take you to the link-up.

©2017 by Stacy Crouch


five minute friday (on saturday): mom


He’s crawling now — all over the floor and under the furniture, examining the minute crumbs, the carpet fibers, and whatever else he can find. I pursue him with voice and hands: don’t touch the power cords, don’t crinkle the book pages: no, and no again.

And he crawls to me, pulls himself up into my lap, lays his head on my chest, my knee. I couldn’t have anticipated this: how now that he’s free to go where wants, he comes to me. How I love him.

In the car last night we played an old mix cd I threw together for a road trip a few years back, when I had no suspicion of husband and baby coming so soon, when my heart grieved and yearned, and I needed those hours alone on the highway to gain perspective and hope.

And now, such joy.

But the hope of then was not in the potential for motherhood, however sweet. Nor could this now be so sweet if it were the center of my hopes. Paul says that “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:19). The hope Paul means? Resurrection. The dead are raised. Christ is raised. We shall be raised.

All the griefs and yearnings — some of which will never be answered in this life — find their answer in that resurrection. And that resurrection makes sense only in light of the grief of now.

Because even this joy, motherhood, comes tinged with the grief of love, the yearning of it. And as much now as then, I need a surer hope.

Mine, in Christ.


Linking up with Kate Motaung for her Five Minute Friday free-write on the prompt mom. The “mom” button above leads to her site.

©2017 by Stacy Crouch

Deeper Than a Mother’s Love (DG)

He is still months away from being born, and already I love him with a fierce mother-love, which would defy the world to defend my boy.

His merits, thus far, are small: He rendered me quite ill for three or four months running, he already disrupts my sleep, he has destroyed my waistline, and he necessitates a move from our cozy newly-wed nest. In the future, he will no doubt exhaust, try, defy me, and wring my heart with a million hard emotions of which, childless, I was free. And yet I love him.

God made parent-love and designed it on purpose so that when he tells us he has compassion on us the way a father has compassion on his children, when he tells us he gives good gifts to us the way a father gives good gifts to his children, we can have just a glimmering notion of God’s character. Made in God’s image, in some way I love in his image — though my loving is just as inadequate and broken an image of God’s love as I am of his glory. Marveling at the love I already have for my baby boy, I am blown away to think of how God loves me. . . .

Guest blogging again at Desiring God today. Click here to read the whole post.

©2016 by Stacy Crouch


We’re all always wailing about the state of the world. We in our community and they in theirs. The general conclusion, it seems, from our community, is that theirs is the problem. No doubt their community reaches similar conclusions about ours.

On the radio, two educated, articulate women discussed the right of women to choose whether and when and how often they will be mothers. Celebrated the decision to have two children, but not to carry and deliver the third, because three children would have been too many to raise well. Celebrated the decision to have no children. Celebrated the fact that they can choose. For a moment I drew back, aghast.

Are you also drawing back, aghast?  Friend, look around you.  You live, I live, in a grace-drenched world. It lies so thick over all our doings that we’ve gotten to where, maybe, we don’t even notice: Christ filling all our gaping inadequacies with His Self, throwing a robe over our rags.

The women spoke of the rigors of motherhood. The expectation and necessity of that entire giving away of yourself, the expectations that a mother will have all the answers, survive on too little sleep, love her child more than herself unconditionally and all the time. They spoke of how difficult that is, how women shouldn’t be forced into that by narrow-minded legislations.

It’s just grace that I saw it then: saw that all they said about the difficulty was right. Except that they see it as only difficult. I know it is impossible — though I am not, only want to be, a mother — they can’t, I can’t, you can’t give self away to that degree. We don’t have the answers. We don’t survive well on too little sleep or love anyone more than ourselves unconditionally and all the time. We’re broken and we can’t fix ourselves.

When I say I disagree with their solution, I don’t say that they are the problem. They suffer under it, as we suffer under it. The world will not be fixed when we legislate the end of all atrocities. It will be fixed when it knows Jesus.

He gave Himself away entirely. He is the Way, Truth, Life. He suffered in every way as we have suffered, yet without sin. His love is unconditional, everlasting, bestowed on wretched ones who couldn’t manage, for the smallest moment, to be loveable. And He pours out His grace. So that we do the things we cannot do, and we give more love than is in us to give, and we lay down our lives when it is inconvenient and we wouldn’t have chosen it. Because He is strong in our weakness, wise in our foolishness, covering our cannots with grace.

We are entrusted with this treasure, Christ, Whose work reverses the curse, and instead of sharing Him with those whose darkness attests to desperate need of Him, we stand and wail that the world is awry. Friends, does that make sense?