About the Author

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, heart-encourager, and grace-needer. She's also a wife and mom of three Joshua (27), Andrew (24), and Aster (13) and the best-selling author of "A Confident Heart" and her newest book, "A Confident Mom," released in February! Renee loves making memories with her family, creating beautiful...

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  1. God blessed me with wise parents who understood each of us are created in God’s image which didn’t always match their own hopes & dreams for us. They demonstrated their dependence on Him when we torpedoed their expectations. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 11 & also dealt with surgeries for hernias & pilonidal cysts. My health adventures ruined their finances more than once but I was never made to feel I was a burden or less than their beloved child. Health issues highlighted God’s complex & fascinating designs in His creation. Financial challenges were opportunities to value what God values not what the world said was a necessity. I’ve appreciated my parents but your post gives me another perspective & even greater depth of appreciation of their journey & love for me & Jesus. Bless you!

    • Ruth, thank you so much for sharing your story. It sounds like you have some really wonderful parents! And I’m so glad my post helped you see and appreciate even more how well they have loved you!!

      We have a daughter with some disabilities, so your words really touched my heart.

  2. This really encourages me to be a better listener and not try to fix what my son is sharing with me….what an amazing gift you have to teach others life skills and kindness for our families.
    Sometimes we treat total strangers with more respect than our own children! Thanks for your insight as I too have a child still in high school and so often I have to admit I need to slow down and be available for him. May God bless you and thankful for sharing your book!

    • Brenda, my heart beats for moms and their kids, in every season of parenting and in their growing up. I am so thankful the Lord used my words and my story to help you see your son’s need for your acceptance and time to just be with him, and list to his heart. Those high school years go so fast and are such big years for them in so many ways. But it’s never too late to start moving in closer and loving our children even more like Jesus loves us.

  3. It’s very difficult when your adult children aren’t walking with God and have lifestyles that don’t align with your faith. It’s still important to love them and accept who they are, whilst praying for them too.

    • It is really hard, Dawn. As you said, it’s still so important to let them know you love them, and like them, even if their decisions and lifestyle aren’t what you or the Lord may want for them. We’ve walked some hard roads with our boys but we try to make sure it always comes back to our relationship with them and love for them.

  4. I love the the article about accepting our children as they are–a true gift from our Heavenly Father. Each child is different and we do need very much to nurture those traits. I tried very much to do so. Both my boys are grown now. They were both raised in a Bible believing and practicing church with people who loved them very much. Now they have gone their own ways–away from the way they were raised. I have kept communication open. They have, too. Please pray that they will return to the Lord.

    • Your love and acceptance of your sons, and your focus on your relationship with them, is a picture of God’s love and pursuit of us. He wants a relationship more than anything. I just said a prayer for your sons and for your mama heart that longs for them to walk with the Lord. I’m praying HE will keep drawing them close, and that they will be open to His love and grace for them.

  5. Wow. Just last night I was lamenting to my husband that our young daughter is wired so differently than me, that she isn’t interested in sports, that I have to readjust my expectations, etc. I am so convicted. Thank you for these amazing words!!

    • Oh Anne, I’m so glad the Lord timed my post so personally for you. I really understand your struggle. I share another story in my book about my daughter and how things aren’t what I imagined.

      But since your situation is sports-related, I wanted to share this with you. My husband was an all-star athlete and was so looking forward to our boys being athletes. But it became clear when they were around 7 or 8 that they had 0 interest in sports. And it was such a huge disappointment for him.

      I remember the day we talked about it and how he wrestled with surrendering his hopes and dreams of what fatherhood would look like with his boys. It was beautiful to watch him lay down his desires and learn everything he could about their interests in camping, hiking, shooting bb guns at bottles, and everything outdoorsy which he knew nothing about. They formed the sweetest bond over those hobbies over the years. Our boys are 24 and 27 now, and the three of them go hiking and camping 2x a year together, and my husband absolutely treasures those times.

      I know God has something special and sweet for you to share and learn about with your girl!! I’m praying for you tonight.

  6. Hello!

    So so Great information from
    The Heart of a Parent!
    I thank You All who started
    The incourage me series!
    I know they have inspired
    My Heart !

    Hugs
    Sandy

  7. Renee, this is lovely. I have 3 daughters, who are all grown now. I made so many parenting mistakes! But they seem to love me anyway. Surprisingly. I hope your words can help moms do better than I did. And now as a grandma, I have a second chance to get some things right.

    • Irene, my sons are grown up now, too. I’ve been pleasantly surprised how much they don’t remember about the times I messed up. I bet the same is true with your daughters, and I bet you did better than you think. Thank God for grand kids who get the older, wiser, and improved version of us. 🙂

  8. This is so wise. I struggle particularly when I see parts of myself I don’t always love or that make things more difficult (like the high level of sensitivity) reflected in my children. I have to do the work with those hard places in my story, letting God work with them, so I don’t try to squash those parts of my own kids when they make me uncomfortable.

    • Annelise, you have great self-awareness which is so important. Being aware of our struggles and how they impact us as moms helps us recognize the kinds of challenges you describe. I truly believe the Lord uses motherhood to show us how much we need His nurturing and acceptance so we can love our kids from a place of His acceptance, and assurance. The more time I spent processing with Jesus the things I didn’t like about myself (the things my parents and others criticized) the more I realized how unaccepting and critical I was of myself – which spilled out into my impatience with my kids. BUT GOD. He offers so much hope as we press into His love and ask Him to love our kids through us. Praying for you mama!!

  9. Love today’s reading. I have no kids. Not brave enough to give birth. But I love my niece’s and nephews. You know I was Childminder for 19 years. I always taught the kids I looked after that song I learnt at Sunday School. When small. It is ‘”Jesus Loves All The Children Of The World Red and Yellow Black and White.” We are to do the same especially if Saved. For kids and Adults of walks of life as we are all God beautiful Children. No matter what age we are kid or Adult. We have to learn to accept everyone. Tell if have kids every day you love them and Jesus love them. Plus pray over them if able too. If not pray for them. I pray for my niece’s and nephews. Plus the kids I looked after when childminding all thoes years ago. It good to God is our Heavenly Father we are hid kids he loves us so much. He sent his one and only son to die for us. What Grater love. God know the very hairs on our head they are all numbered. If you want to know how much God expects us. Go to you tube and type in the Father’s Love Letter. That will let you know God expects us all. We are love beyond words. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx

  10. Renee,

    God made each of us unique with our own quirks. I am the youngest of four girls. The first one is brainy & graduated HS at 17. The next one is outgoing & enjoy life. The third child was the baby for 7 years. She is quirky. I grew up shy. Now I’m a little more outgoing. Our parents loved & accepted us just as we were. They didn’t pick one of us over the others. We were all loved unconditionally.

    We should receive & believe God’s acceptance & affirmation of us all. No more being judgmental. See each person as a creation from Almighty God. Shower them with the same love He gives us.

    Blessings 🙂

  11. Really appreciated this. Thank you, Renee. It helps to hear it from a mom who has watched her kid grow up already. Gives me hope maybe I can do the same.

    • Pearl, there really is grace and hope for us imperfect mamas. The most important thing is apologizing when we mess up and affirming our kids for who they are, as much as we can. I learned so much from my mistakes. Thankfully Jesus was teaching me how to accept who the Lord created me to be, which helped me to do the same with my kids. Keep letting Him love on you, as His child, and it’ll be easier for you to give that same love to your children. Cheering and praying you on!

  12. I needed this so much. My oldest (15) is strong willed- bold and beautiful as I like to put it. We clash on a daily basis almost. Some days are easier than others, but I feel like I am failing her tremendously. Thank you for writing. It might be helpful for me to read your book.

  13. I to brought my children up in church. Both have gone the other way but I trust the Word they will return. My struggle is my son, he turned to alcohol and has been with me after loosing everything, including wife and son in 2017. He has almost lost his life twice. He blames me all the time and I had nothing to do with any of it. His father left us when he was 5 for and teenager, died when he was 9 at the age of 34. I have worked hard to give my children a decent life. I love my son, I support his recovery effort that he finally began 5 months ago but only after 2 DUI’S. I am in the parking lot now while he is in group meeting. I pray all the time but, he tells me he doesnt want to be like me and my ways. He needs God to help him through this addiction. What more can one do? Please pray for us. Thank all of you for the words of encouragement. By the way, my daughter, is wonderful. She has 3 degrees, an MBA, and now nursing. She has managed to overcome all the bad and turn it to her good.

  14. You have no idea how much I needed this tonight. God has used your words to speak directly like so direct yo what I am dealing with my daughter. She is going through some trouble with friends at school and it really breaks my heart. She is 11 so we can’t just step in and fix it which is even harder to accept as a parent. I’ve found a resolution or solution on how best to support my darling quirky hurting daughter. Thank you!