…so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. Philippians 2:15 (NASB) 

My son entered the world of light and noise and oxygen on a day when the windows stayed open. A breeze blew the curtains back and sun streamed across my bed as I labored, bent over and breathing heavy at the foot of it. It was April in London, and I have yet to see another sunny April day there since. I birthed my boy into light, rivers of it washing through the upstairs bedroom of the little house with the blue front door.  

We gave him a name that means “Strength or Permanence,” the name of a Psalmist, a singer, a poet. We mean for him to live up to his name, to show strength in his convictions, to sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, to bring with him a light that shines with permanence in a dark and crooked generation.  

Regardless of what their names mean, my husband and I pray this for all three of our kids, and I suspect you pray for these qualities in your kids too. We want our children to shine like a star, like the noonday sun in the mess and mayhem of this world. We want them to enter the world on a river of light and continue to spread that light everywhere their feet take them.

We hope and we pray for this, but sometimes the darkness of this world rubs off on our kids and obscures the source of light. Sometimes we find ourselves on the receiving end of a phone call or an email dumbfounded by the tomfoolery of our own children. Sometimes we say, “Never my child,” only to discover that yes, indeed it was our child and they brought a few other children into the “never” with them. Sometimes we can’t believe the kids we speak strength and permanence into, can permanently drive us crazy with some of their choices. 

I’ve been there, mama. Have you? When I feel especially discouraged I go back to the source of all light. I go back to the day when God called my children to life in my womb, when He gave them to me to mother, and I call things that are not, as though they were. I pray strength into their spirit, permanence, poetry, worship, light. I recognize the darkness of my own soul and pray that God will have His way in my children’s lives, just as He has in mine. I name and re-name my children as light-bearers, and I look in the mirror recognizing, in spite of my own tomfoolery, I am a light-bearer too.


Kimberly Coyle is a writer, mother, and gypsy at heart. She tells stories of everyday life while raising a family, and shares her faith on her blog. She writes from the suburbs of New Jersey, where she is learning how to put down roots that stretch further than the nearest airport.

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