Totally Worth It: Scattering and Gathering Stones

Victory. I experienced it this past week. And if you knew our history, you’d know why this is so monumental.

My ten-year-old son told me he wants to marry a girl like me someday. He proceeded to list all the reasons why. “Cuz Mama, you’re beautiful, and you’re a great wife to Daddy, and you’re godly, and you’re a hard worker, and you’re the best mama…” And this coming from a kid who normally only talks about Star Wars, guns, knives, Legos, historical facts and his latest money-making business idea (cookie baking is the present one… so far he’s made $7!).

My son gets his love of history honestly though. A passion for history was ignited in me when my tenth grade history teacher taught it as though he experienced the battles and knew the people.

I love that our part of Ohio is rich in history and I particularly love the old stone walls. If you look closely, they can tell a story.

I’ve spent time observing these beautiful walls, and in many ways, building walls reminds me of motherhood. Stone by stone, I am building a masterpiece. It may not always feel like a masterpiece, but as I invest into each of my children’s lives, something beautiful is being created. There are different seasons where growth and building takes place. There are some seasons that I am clearing stones away, getting rid of things that hinder growth and smoothing the path for building. As I work to scatter the hindering stones, I know there will come a season where I am collecting new stones. Maybe it’s gathering a tidbit of wisdom from an older mom, or learning how to speak encouragement into my child in a way he completely understands. And it’s all with the ultimate goal of seeing God build a beautiful masterpiece together.

As I look back over the length of my motherhood journey, my “wall”, I see the progress I have made, and breathe a deep breath, appreciating the rugged beauty. It hasn’t been easy, clearing the path and gathering the stones to build. The stones have been heavy and rough, and sometimes my hands bled and my back has ached from the hard work of carrying them. At times it has been very painful and I’ve wanted to give up. I’m thankful for the progress though and I’m glad I didn’t give up when the going was tough.

Along with my sense of accomplishment, there is an overwhelming thankfulness for God’s never-ending faithfulness. He is always good. We still have a long way to go, but we can see all the stones in the wall in our parenting journey, each representing a milestone or victory. Although it isn’t perfect, and my wall differs from the one down the road, I am thankful for the stones of sin God has helped me remove and stones of truth He has helped me find along the way.

As I reflect on my motherhood journey thus far, I allow my mind to go back to each stone that has built my wall and what it represents. I see a place that some may not even notice. But I know it’s there.

That small dip in the landscape is where I had to dig out a huge rock that was impeding the building of the wall. The giant stone was fear. Fear gripped my heart every night for several weeks as I pondered what to do with our son. He was angry and unkind and often emotionally out of control, and we needed God’s wisdom in a bad way. Often I would silently cry and let my thoughts run rampant, choosing after a time to cast my burdens on the Lord as sleep would find me once again.

That massive rock, partially buried under the grass and leaves, had to be dug out and moved away before we could continue building. Unfortunately, it didn’t get very far away from the wall, and if you look on the backside, you’ll see where it lies. Sometimes fear still creeps in and I have to ask God help me find victory again. That stone was just one of many barriers to growth that had to be cast away. Stones of selfishness, pride, anger, and unbelief were also in the way of building our wall.

Gazing at the wall, my mind’s eye settles on a slight gap at the top where I couldn’t find the right stone to fill the hole. That was when we were at a standstill with our son. His poor attitude was affecting our whole family. We had tried everything we knew in parenting and we were getting nowhere. In building, we could find no stones for our wall. God would have to show us where to go and what to do.

We searched far and wide for those particular stones, gathering from somewhere I had never been before. After counseling and therapy, I came away with a couple more tools in my mommy toolbox. We had a better knowledge of how our son thought, why he reacted the way he did, and how we could help. God provided the stones for that section of the wall in unfamiliar places. It took more time to gather them and they somehow seemed heavier than the others. The rain has since washed them away, but there were once many tears that splashed down on those stones.

I am jolted from my memories as my son looks at me and smiles, the freckles dancing on his face as slats of sunshine peek over the top of the wall. He has just uttered those sweet, uplifting words that this mama so appreciated hearing. The blood, sweat and tears shed in building our wall to this point are worth it. Totally worth it.

I turn around now and look behind us at the great expanse of land needing yet to be cleared. I think of the stones yet to be gathered as I reach for my son’s hand and whisper a silent prayer of thanks to God for the season we are in. “I love you, Sonny,” I say to the young man standing beside me. We reach down then, lifting a stone from the ground and place it carefully on our wall.

? Janelle Gibbs

Soaking in the Truth

Scripture to encourage you:

  • But cleave unto the Lord your God, as ye have done unto this day.” (Joshua 23:8, KJV)
  • “Rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:7, KJV)
  • “Casting all your cares upon Him, for He careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7, KJV)
  • “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”
    (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭51:2‬, ‭KJV)‬
  • “I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.”
    ‭‭(Job‬ ‭42:2‬, ‭KJV)‬‬
  • ‬“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James‬ ‭1:5,‬ ‭KJV)‬‬

Music to inspire you:

Readings and Resources to come alongside of you:

Related Posts on Texting The Truth:

Living Out the Truth

Ideas to try:

  • Do you feel like your building has come to a halt? Try to identify what has stopped progress. Is it fear? Is it selfishness, pride, anger, or something else?
  • If you aren’t sure, pray and ask God to reveal it to you.
  • Ask God for the help to “cast away” this stone. Maybe this help comes in the form of therapy, a support group, a book, a song, Scripture, or something completely different.
  • Look for the “truth stones” in your journey. What do you know to be true right now? What are some of God’s promises to you from Scripture?


{These suggestions are ideas from novice moms. Sometimes our life situations need more.

In that case, seeking out professional help is the right call.}