Kelly Capriotti Burton
About the Author

Kelly is a work-at-home editor, wife of a gospel singer, mom/stepmom/homeschooler to 3 daughters, and praying for a prodigal. Read more at her blog.

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

Reader Interactions


  1. This post resonates with me at the moment, as the mother of an almost 21 year old who left home 20 months ago in a blaze of glory and has now decided she is coming home.

    I have mixed feelings. Half of me is happy she is coming home, where I can see for myself how she is. The other half has become very used to the absence of squabbles and moods and tensions and is dreading their return.

    • Lynne, this is how I feel every time J comes over for dinner. I miss having a son in the house, I miss my girls having their brother, but I don’t miss the walking-on-eggshells-tension…and honestly, I’m still mad at him. I pray your daughter’s homecoming is not a blaze of anything, but a time of peace!

  2. My family and I serve in a prison ministry where we’ve met many prodigal sons. It’s easier to understand the story when we know that some of these men are rapists, murderers, drug dealers, etc, and because we know them and they tell us their stories, and we can be friends with them, how much more can a father love, forgive, run to his son, even if this son insulted him by asking for his inheritance when the father was still alive!

  3. You’ve reminded me to pray for prodigals today….and to walk through the world with a welcome home on me. Sometimes other issues want to jump ahead of the welcome, but the example of the father in the story comes back around to remind me. Open arms first.

  4. What you said about the Sunday School stories looking different now that we are grown up is so true. Thank you for taking us into the story as a real life mother.

    • My Sunday School class is currently going through ‘traditional’ SS stories now. Jonah & Zaccheus make for interesting adult discussion 🙂 Thanks so much!

  5. This post blesses me every time I read it. We have a prodigal sister and it took two long years for her to return and even then – nothing is ever the same and their are deep aches that only her mother truly feels I think.

    Thank you for your honest, encouraging words. I believe they will speak to many.

    • Thank YOU for reading, responding, accepting, identifying. All of it – the chance to write this message. the chance to share it, has come at the right time. God bless you & incourage!

  6. Wow…thank you so much for opening your heart and your struggles with us here. This is a very, very thought provoking post. I never really thought about what the mama in the story of the prodigal son was doing or thinking…hmmmm…what an interesting this to think about. I want you to know that I am now praying for you and your situation with your prodigal son. What you are going through sounds very painful. It sounds like God is really working on your heart right now as you are going through this. I will be praying for your son as well and the rest of your family as they deal with the pain of these difficult times. I will pray for healing of his heart and that God will draw him close to him and speak to his heart…I will also pray for the healing of you and your husband and daughter’s hearts. Only God can help us deal with things like this. You will never know how much what you shared means to me. God bless you!!!

    • Even just reading the responses today, I know there are more lessons that God wants us to get from this. Thank you for your encouraging words! God bless you…

  7. I was a prodigal daughter. When I came home at 21 and a pregnant, college drop out, my mother and my father welcomed me with open arms. There were some rough stages of healing that we all went through but God totally restored our relationships.

    Because that’s what God does. He restores. And He redeems.

  8. I, too, am the mother of a prodigal. It’s been excrutiating, seeing him make choices that will only lead to misery.

    But… he seems to be coming back… we’re still very cautious and he’s still too ashamed to communicate regularly with us… but all of the current signs point to more joy on the way!

    I think I’m a pretty typical prodigal mom. My only feelings are ones of joy and hope and love and acceptance, and gratitude. (And occasionally I have to squeel right out loud!)

    Truly, God’s promises are sure!!! And that’s a beautiful thing!

    • I think I’m a pretty typical prodigal mom. My only feelings are ones of joy and hope and love and acceptance, and gratitude. (And occasionally I have to squeel right out loud!)
      Wow. If you are typical, then I guess every prodigal mom I have known is atypical! I know that I and friends of mine – and my own mom at the time – struggle with guilt, anger, remorse, and generally, just stress! Of course there is love and hope… it is just mixed in with the other things. That is a struggle. I am happy for the peace and joy you have! ~ May your son return safe & soon!

  9. as the mother of 2 prodigals (and 2 younger siblings still at home), I reassure myself daily “that the GOOD thing about a prodigal is that they KNOW the way home”. Even though they CHOSE not to follow the pathway of our Lord, RIGHT NOW, they WILL someday return home. I look for ways to connect with them, reach out to them, love them, etc. in spite of their rebellion. Just last week I had the opportunity to pray with my oldest son TWICE and have several heart-to-hearts over a job loss which was not his fault but a surprise and quite painful when you’re not serving God and living under His umbrella of blessings. We must hold each other and our prodigals up in prayer – – what a REVIVAL that would be for them to all return home…. talk about a PARTY!!!

    • what a REVIVAL that would be for them to all return home…. talk about a PARTY!!!

      I relayed this thought to my husband and our friends tonight and could barely get the words out. What a thought! What a hope! May it be so someday!

      Thank you, my friend!

  10. I too am the mom to a prodigal child and have also wondered about the mother in the story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  11. We have a very loved and prayed for prodigal son, our second is teetering. We’re reading Stormie Omartian’s Power of Praying for Your Adult Children. It’s so helpful.

    What made it harder in the beginning years was having had raised them in Christ, hubby was a worship leader, I was his assistant and we had a contemporary christian band – Everything just wonderful and then it started.

    Today, it’s still hard, but we have so much more faith in what God’s is working in their lives. Our oldest will reach people we will never be able to reach when he returns to his first love. He still asks for prayer. Our second is already touching people and doesn’t even realize it.

    My hubby and I – we ache, pray, have new adventures, almost empty nesters, loved by God, and filled with His promises.

    I’m so glad you wrote this. It has helped me and I’m sure will help so many.

    • Your comment really resonates. We, too, are a family in ministry, although that wasn’t always so. I often look and wonder why one child seemed to glean from all our mistakes and the other (my stepdaughter) seemed to learn from what we did right. What a dirty trick! 🙂

      Our oldest will reach people we will never be able to reach when he returns to his first love.
      Amen and amen. I know this is true for both my husband and me, former prodigals, but I wish our son could have learned this without going through the slop….

      Please keep in touch. And be blessed!

  12. I feel the pain as well, being the grandparents of your prodigal son, tears are flowing down my cheeks but there is never a night that goes by & a lot of days I pray for him, to come home and be able to know the joy of salvation in his life again, we as grandparents will never stop praying for a miracle, we suffer right along with you guys as parents & praying for peace to enter into his heart.
    With all our love.
    Larry & Joyce Lefkowitz
    Kelly your wonderful, what a beautiful story & so real.

  13. Hand-wringing, angry, second-guessing–how do we as parents avoid falling into those traps, those accusations from the enemy? Whether our kids are simply testing limits or pursuing full-blown rebellion, it is grace, the work of God’s Spirit that ultimately leads them home. So encouraging to read these posts, these triumphs of God’s grace. They give hope.

  14. Please pray for my “son” Michael. I’m actually more like a mentor to him. His mom is my friend, but the boy sees me as dad and is a wonderful boy. He occasionally lives with me when he has problems at home. While with me, he does a wonderful job, follows rules, and simply does as he is told. He lived with me the entire summer and did great, but two weeks after going home, he is out doing wrong again.

    He does not get the guidance he needs at home, his mother knows he does great with me, but will not let him stay with me again, unless the boy chooses to, but he will not come on his own. He typically has to get into troubel before he returns to my home. It’s like night and day, great at my place, but bad and wrong at his home. He’s my prodigal “son” and I am praying for him daily. Heart breaking to see such an intelligent boy be brought down by negative influences.

    I’m in touch with him, but he’s still up to doing his own thing with little or no consequences from his mother, so he continues to do wrong. He says he no longer believes in God. Please pray or his eyes to open and return to Christ.

    Thank you in advance for your prayers!