Ann Voskamp
About the Author

Ann Voskamp is a farmer's wife, the home-educating mama to a half-dozen exuberant kids, and author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, a New York Times 60 week bestseller. Named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. I want the words, but I do not know them. Please, tell me the words to capture a 16-year old’s manly heart. The heart that desperately wants to flee the home, the love, the mama. The man-in-the-making lion heart that collides with the mama’s lion heart. The one who wants to control but is not yet ready. The one who think himself wise but is just young and inexperienced. What are the words to tell him he is loved, precious, prayed for, anointed, on-his-way-but-not-there-yet? He pulls and tries to flee. I chase and capture in a net that he despises. He struggles to be free. I often ponder if I should let him go free. What will happen if I do not chase? I have tried that before. He simply flees further and further away. I just want the words. I do not know where to find them or how to say them without sounding like I am a bad actress in a B-movie. I want the words that will give voice to my heart.

    • Your question is valid and real, and I recognize my own struggle in your dilemma. This is where you need to take your concerns to God. Cry out to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to teach you the grace-filled, healing, instructive words that He would have you communicate. So often I would ask God to teach me/help me be the mom He wants me to be since without His instruction and help I have nothing. And I asked the Holy Spirit to communicate truth and instruction to my childs heart since in some ways it is impossible for me to do this. I acknowledged, and still do, that God made this individual. God knows and understands their heart and mind. God loves them perfectly. And this child/adult child is really His child and you are just an overseer and manager of all God has given you. So I would ask God to teach me to be a good and wise and faithful manager of all that He has given me, including and especially these children. Wisdom can include a lot of things; sometimes the right words, sometimes when to stay silent, how much freedom to responsibly grant, when to let go and trust God for the outcome, strength and a heart of love and grace through the process, etc. And I think Ann is right when she advocates for our own heart to be full of gratitude and thanksgiving (eucharisteo) through all of our earthly race. Focusing on all the gifts that God has given us and continues to give us every moment. Ultimately, we are only responsible for our own heart; our own choices to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Although my kids are now in their 20s, I’m still doing this.

  2. I am striving to use only those words. I have a 4 year old, tender hearted, unconditional loving baby girl and a wild at heart 7 month old boy, and I find myself so, incredibly frustrated these days. I am tired. I am worn out emotionally, physically and spiritually. I want to change. I vow today to use strong words only. thank you.