Parenting Moment By Moment

Making Ordinary Moments EXTRAordinary

Being a mother is one of the greatest gifts. When we become parents, our heart grows a special place for each child. A part of us knows what our child, teen, adult child is walking through the good and the bad. We celebrate and at times our own heart aches. We want to help and sometimes we feel helpless, hopeless, tired, frustrated, yet the root under all of this is deep tender unconditional LOVE. Love for each of our children runs so deep through our heart that at times it hurts. Every time we feel this way, we can hear the tenderness of God saying,

“You are dear to My heart.”

If we hear Him whisper this, we know our prayers are offered to the Essence of tenderness, compassion, and deep unconditional love. How can we know we are dear to His heart?

Jesus said to her, ‘[Dear] woman,

Jesus calls His mom, “Dear Woman...” (Story in John 2)

I love that He called his mom “Dear.” Dear means “beloved or loved: (dear is ‘expression of affection or respect)” (

His words lead me to think of the fact: He treasured His mom. She is dear to His heart.

This passage in John is His first recorded miracle of Jesus. Reading miracle at the wedding celebration, I got stuck in thinking about the conversation Jesus had with His Mom. Basically, He tells Mary that He is not ready to do this miracle and she tells the servants to do what He asks. Which included the task of filling huge vats with water that would become the best wine of this celebration.

Not comparing my sons to Jesus. However when I sit in this conversation between Mary and Jesus, I can’t help but imagine. Telling my teenage sons to do something and them laughing and jokingly saying, “Nope.” I proceed with the next step as if I know they are going to .... They do the task, make the call, take the risk... because I ask.

Jesus basically said, “No.”

However, she knows that she is dear to His heart, so she disregarded this and acted as if He was going to answer her request.

Sitting in this passage self reflecting I wonder if when I talk to Jesus that I am mindful of the truth He calls me “dear?”
Do I pray believing in a miracle?
Do I act as if I know He will answer?

Do I think He answers me as, “dear woman?”

In my moment of anxious prayers do I know that I am dear to His heart? Why or Why not?

As I was asking myself these questions, God brought to mind Hannah, Tamar, Sarah, the Widow Elijah helped, and the widow’s only son, “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her...” (Luke 713 AMP)

The heart of God understands a mother’s love. The tenderness of Jesus answers and heals. The gift of peace fills our souls as we give Him our concerns, worries, anxieties, hopes, dreams, feelings for each one of our children and teens.

When you talk/pray to God, may you hear Him say, “Dear Woman,” which leads to a confidence of continuing to pray. Why? Because we know that we are treasured and loved by the Loving Father, Jesus Who Gave His life for us, and His Holy Spirit.

What does knowing we are treasured by His Heart lead to?

Living knowing we are dear to Him creates a safe place for us to be vulnerable, giving Him our real.

You might have read about the Holy Exchange in another article. So no pressure to read on, yet if you would like to hear about what happened to my anxieties when I started understanding how God sees the prayers of a mother’s heart, you may enjoy this next section.

The Holy Exchange: my Anxiety for His Peace

The real is I don’t want to admit all of the things I worry about for each one of mine. Worry can become comfortable, which leads to walking around anxious. Ironically, my kids call me on this, they know me and they can tell if I am living on anxious adrenaline. To live the best version of myself to Dan and our kids, daily I must live in the practice of exchanging anxieties for His peace, let me explain.

Living emitting peace has been my goal for the last 8 years ago after my 5 treasures (kids) confronted me on my lack of peace, “Mom, you are joy and love, but you are not peace...”

“Ouch!” Yet they were right.

My anxiety was fueled by a desire to get it ALL right with each of them, not to miss anything, or be late, and to raise them to live as adults that would thrive and give life to the world around them...I feel like whatever I did or said was never enough, this inner message fueled me and also fueled the anxious swirl in my brain.

For my anxiety to get it all done right was not creating the peaceful inviting culture that I hoped my kids would enjoy. My anxiety was contagious, it affected the atmosphere of our home. Deep down, I wanted so badly to be peaceful, this meant making changes. The first step was healing my understanding of the way God sees me and responds to my prayers. Embracing the truth that He answers, “Dear One, Treasured, Beloved...”

His response created and continues to create a desire to talk to Him about each of our children. The way He feels about me creates a space to give Him my anxious thoughts. Because to Him, we are all lovable!

The first step to change is acknowledging the problem and choosing to change, I admitted I was anxious. But what then?

My solution involved an exchange, a bold prayer to the Jesus that calls us, “Dear”

God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, I will give YOU each anxiety, fear, worry (take time to give the little and the big concerns to Him) and You said that You would give me peace, so I am trusting You to do this. In Jesus name

The holy exchange: My anxious thoughts (EVERY one of them) in exchange for His peace!

His Promise:

“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

And God’s peace [shall be yours, that [tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall [garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7 AMPC)

As I pray, I imagine His grand big throne of Love, while remembering that He is glad that I am there. As I kneel before Him and give Him my worries, fears, longings, anxieties, I picture His smile, His essence of tender love accepting all of my anxious thoughts, and in exchange He places in my hands the beautiful gift of peace, powerful peace beyond my comprehension.

In this encounter with God is void of shaming voices about my fears, instead a deep understanding of the heart of a mother, His heart of total love for me in this vulnerable moment. The heart of God understands. He has this for all of us. His heart washes over our heart giving us the gift of peace.

Living and Giving Peace

Living in this practice throughout the day, exchanging anxiety for peace, a constant conversation with God, the Holy Exchange took a day or two, I wish!!! I’ll be honest, I still must live in this. It took about two years to become my habit, yet living peaceful was a much better alternative and the culture of our home transformed. Honestly, just about the time when I think I have mastered peace, I am humbled by a deep fear or anxiety or worry. Like my oldest hiking the most treacherous trail in America in the ice or continuing to launch my babies (graduates) into the journey God has for them.

Every once and a while a friend will tell me I am peaceful, I laugh thinking, “if you only knew the continual conversation in my mind with God exchanging worry and entrusting those I love into His care each.” After thinking this, God reminds me to share my struggle and I am given the gift of sharing the real. The real is His tender heart for mothers, His powerful peace that covers anxieties, and the essence of compassion and peace given before His throne.

The exchange: giving every anxiety to Him and accepting His precious peace!

May you be blessed today knowing YOU are dear to His Heart and may His peace be a continual gift blessing your heart and your home.

My Why:

Sharing Him, for His love captures, rescues, transforms, engulfs...

Becca Gunyon, MCC -director of The Way Counseling since 2000 (loving life as a wife, mom of 5, pastoral student counselor/parent coach), author of The Treasure, Choose Life to the Fullest series, Journey to His Heart, NEW PARENTING workbook Making Ordinary Moments, EXTRAordinary

Parenting Workshop available & videos see

@parentingmomentbymoment @chooselifetothefullest FB - beccaowingsgunyon- writer