I have a touch of anxiety coming on here as a girl mom (I’m just shooting straight with you this morning, because I love your community and think it’s so critical that you have each other)!
But what I want to talk about today isn’t unique to girls or boys. You know your boys can be tender and kind and loving—that isn’t just a girl thing—and while girls may naturally cuddle a baby doll and boys may step on that doll trying to find the first truck or ball, their hearts were made the same.
I really believe God made our kids to light up the world, and that they are his plan to spread His love. That makes my job thrilling. Mom’s get the great privilege of showing them how to love, how to serve and even how to forgive! And even more exciting, we get to step back and watch God prompt their little hearts.
Boys can practice and learn by the experience of generosity, and be crafted by God to change the world.
Meet one of them, Charlie.
Charlie is the son of my friend Stacey, of Grace in the Chaos. His birthday was coming up—the big 1-0.
Stacey knew this was a big one—double digits. He could’ve chosen anything big for this special birthday, but to his mom’s surprise, he asked if he could do something we encourage on my blog—Light ‘Em Up or The Birthday Project. He knew about both of those from the influence of his friend Cooper and his precious mom.
Of course, his mom said an immediate, “YES!”
They set a budget of $30 and picked ten things for Charlie to do.
He even had a script.
His 9th task has touched my heart deeply and I have been telling it on every stop of my book tour. You’ll see why.
He decided to buy flowers and stand outside Wal-Mart until the “one” he wanted to “light up” came out. He tried one lady and she kept talking (oh no she didn’t!) paying no attention to his attempt to bless her. Sweet Stacey regrouped him, they prayed and he waited again.
Finally, he saw the “one,” went up to her, and said, “My name is Charlie and I turned ten today. I have decided to light up the world with ten acts of kindness and you are my number nine!
She was shocked and hugged him, and they bounced off to the car. When they got to the car, Charlie realized he only had $1.20 left for this last act of kindness and he was bummed that he couldn’t do much with it. Stacey gave him a great pep talk.
Just about that time, the lady with the flower was coming back to the car with her eyes filled with tears. She explained that her husband had just died a few months before and that she never gets flowers any more. She told Charlie that what he had given her was more than just a bouquet, it was joy to a hurting heart. She was, for sure, “the one.”
And then, she handed him $20.
Only God would connect these two and meet both of their needs.
MOTHERS OF BOYS!
I am so thankful God put kindness in the heart of all of our kids.
I am also thankful that moms like you and Charlie’s mom have the courage to let go and watch God move. Charlie doesn’t ever need another lecture on generosity. He’s got it.
Your boys are learning and watching you. Keep up the awesome work. Invite them to the party and let your boys experience WHO you know not just WHAT you know.
I’d love to give away 3 copies of In This House, We Will Giggle today. I wrote it for all parents – not just the girl moms!
Just say hello and tell me what you love about your boy(s) – how you see kindness coming out of his heart.
Courtney DeFeo is the author of In This House, We Will Giggle. Join her in the Light ‘Em Up 2014 fun – 100 ways to show kindness in your community!
How sweet! My sons only 2 but I see kindness when he brings a toy for his sister to play with …..
I love that my boys are super sweet! One is outgoing and befriends everyone, the other gets a slower start, but once he opens up, he just melts your heart & has THE best laughter! I tell my older son is gift from Godnis his infectious smile & my younger one’s is his infectious laugh!
I have a 5yr old son and I see his kindness most when others are sad, I’ve witnessed him comforting other students at school who have been sad.
Hi! I have 4 sons. What I love about them is their love of life, their wild imaginations, and their hearts of compassion.
My son is 7. At times he has such tenderness towards others…my prayer is for him to have the tenderness grow.
This touched my heart. I have 2 boys 12 and 7. My 7 year old at least once each day comes to me and asks “mummy guess what? ” I say what and he replies, “I love you so much” (with a hug). It seemd like a little but it means a whole lot.
This gave me goosebumps. Thank you for sharing his story. My son is three, I love everything about him, his imagination, his bold opinions, his silliness, his stubborn-ness…..I see his kindness in his willingness to share, his need to snuggle and in his complete heartbreak over the unhappiness of others.
My son is 11 and has a heart of gold is silly at time
I have 3 boys, ages 5, 3, and 1 (and one older girl). My five year likes to write me loves notes and hang them up in my bathroom to see when I wake up!
I have 3 boys (8, 13, 19) and they all have their unique way of kindness. My oldest will give you the shirt off his back if you need it, my middle son has a tender heart and is a rescuer, and my little guy -the helper-is always “what can I help with”
I have 2 boys ages 6 and 1. The oldest is was my husbands from a previous relationship but has lived with us full time since he was 2 yrs. He has always made me so proud in the was he loves and cares for people, he won’t take something unless everyone else already has one, even if that means not getting one.Although he had a rough start to his little life and had to see and hear things that we’re for those well beyond his years, you would never know it! He loves just and he loves people and i love him:)
I have one boy. 10 yrs old. He has a heart of gold and a passion for the homeless. As a matter of fact we’re on our way to the shelter to volunteer right now. This is the first time I’ve heard about Light ’em Up. I will share this with him and see where it takes us. What a wonderful testimony about the heart of children. They are so much more than society make them out to be. Praise God. #praydailyforyourchildren
I have an amazing 10 year old boy. His giving heart never ceases to amaze me. We get to do so many fun things together.
Love this! My son is 8 and has the most kind heart. He came home from school a few weeks ago & told me of a little girl (kindergarten) who was feeling sick on the bus. She was crying so he let her lay down in the seat & rubbed her back until he got off the bus. He was afraid she was going to “yak on” him but he said, “She just needed some lovin!”
I love this post! I have 4 kids — 2 girls and 2 boys. I pray I raise my kids to be like Charlie. This looks like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!
I have 3 boys and they each are so different from one another. The past few weeks they have all done something to make us realize that they are paying attention to what we are trying to teach them!! One son, all on his own, made Christmas gifts for his brothers. Another son came to us with a concern that friend was going to have about a party we were hosting and helped us find a solution. And our youngest son reminded us of a neighbor on another street that we really should take some Christmas candy to! Sweet boys! 🙂
Hi Courtney, What a perfectly named book! That sounds like our family theme! Yes, we have our moments, too. I struggle with having too much fun in our home verses making sure all chores/homework are always done before any fun. My hubby, bless his heart, comes home from work and wants to play with the kids more than do housework. So, what I love about my “grown-up” boy is how he loves me, our children and others. How at work, he tries to treat others with brotherly love instead of being quick to lash back at others with sterness and unkind words; how he wants to.give his time by visiting others in homes to make them.laugh and smile. My oldest son, 13, is quick to offer help to others without being told…opening doors, picking up something someone dropped, helping with housework/yard work, wants to give to every person standing on the side if the road asking for help. My other son 12, likes to.Make, bake and cook for others. He’s the one who.hugs, cuddles, and constantly tells others that he loves them and thank.you. He enjoys visiting others, like in assisted living homes, and spending time with people. Thank you for suggesting this challenge; sometimes I only focus on my boy’s weaknesses/shortcomings especially when life gets hectic!. I needed to.Take a moment and focus on the God stuff! 🙂
Love this! My boys each have such giving hearts themselves. Sure they fight like cats and dogs some (ahem, most) days but they hug and say Good Morning to each other first thing and end each night with an I Love You.
This is so great…thank you! My boys (and my girls) all express their love in different ways through their various personalities. One brings me rocks, one draws pictures, one makes me jewelry, and one just sits near me. They are each a blessing to others, too, with manners and friendship and prayers for those they know or sense need them. They stick up for each other even though they have their own squabbles between themselves.
Hello! My boy (4) is full of energy and isn’t always as careful as I would like. Especially with his little brother. So I’m always surprised and grateful when we are around other babies and smaller children because he’s so gentle and careful with them. It gives me great hope!
I love my boys hearts!! My oldest had a Christmas store at school and wanted to bring his money to buy His younger brothers a gift for Christmas, he was so exciting!! Then my middle boy asked if he could please go to the store and pick up something special for His older brother! Now they are both so excited to open their gifts from one another!! I cherish these moments!!
“Mom why does he have to do EVERYTHING that I do & want EVERYTHING that I want?? It’s bugging me!” As I tried to explain to my 8 year old that his 4 year old brother just wanted to be EXACTLY like him, I saw his expression turn from frustration to understanding. His eyes sparkled as he said “Oh, then I need to show him how to love everyone & be nice to everyone. It’s my job mom.” My heart absolutely melted!! I believe at that moment he realized that his little brother looked up to him just like he looked up to their daddy. It was a priceless moment that I will forever cherish!
I have 5 boys. They each have caring, giving hearts in their own ways. Sometimes they drive me crazy with their arguing with each other, but then I see them playing or working together. It blesses a mama’s heart for sure!
To see a child ask to do this would bring tears of joy for any parent! My son is 2 1/2, and his main interest is showing how loud and powerful he is at play. So when he takes the time to ask me in a sweet voice if I’m happy or gives me a kiss out of the blue, it makes me melt. Recently, he’s taken notice if our handicapped cat. He has asked to carry her to some of her favorite spots. Then he tucks her in with a kiss. She isn’t thrilled with his method of carrying her, but she tolerates it well. And we are so pleased to see this tenderness come out in between pretend sword fights and car crashes in the living room.
Love this!! My sweet almost 5 year old boy is my ‘gentleman in training’. He is so sweet and opens doors for his 2 sisters and I. One way he shows his kindness is sharing treats for others. He got a handful of m&ms at preschool and saved some of them the whole drive home so each member of the famiy could have one. I don’t know if I would even have enough self control to not eat candy in my hand for 15 minutes:)
My oldest has one of the kindest hearts I’ve ever seen. I learn from him daily. He exudes the Fruit of the Spirit in such a way that my heary fills with Joy. In fact, he said yesterday, “I want to give the Joy from God to others for Christmas, mom.”
My youngest is always looking to care for others first. He’s thoughtful and loving. I am often in awe at his heart for God.
I have a son and two daughters. They are all incredibly enthusiastic about being out in the world and enjoy laughing together-these days the three of them will sit playing penny poker and laughing. I love seeing my son at 12 step towards being a young man and not just a little boy-to see him holding the door open while chatting with his grandmother this Sunday really made me smile.
I love when my boys don’t know I’m watching, and they get down on the floor and play with my younger ones… they really “see” them and relate to them, and they aren’t concerned about looking goofy or silly. My younger ones are so blessed to have older brothers who love them and encourage them.
I love my son! For all of his rambunctiousness and restlessness there is an equal heart to have love, care and compassion for others. We went on our first mission trip, as a family, together and I loved seeing him interact and include the children at the orphanage. I get to see him show unconditional love to his sister on a daily basis. I need to remember these moments more, especially when we’re in the middle of chaos! I love my son, and pray for him everyday that he follows Jesus throughout his whole life!
I love the innocence and sweetness that they have .
I have six sons and they all seem to find ways to show kindness and generosity to others, helping strangers with their bags or opening doors for others, even sharing financially when they see a need.
I have big boys now…18 and 16. They are so protective of me and seem to enjoy my company~ most of the time. I have a little girl now and it’s so different, albeit wonderful. Would love to read this book!
I love this!! I have 2 boys that just mean the world to me and I try every day to make sure I am teaching and showing them how important it is to show acts of kindness. Right before Thanksgiving my oldest and I were in a crowded grocery store when I noticed that he had disappeared on me. I looked up and a little lady who I thought had to be in her late eighties was arm and arm with my son while he carried her 10 lb bag of potatoes. The part that got me was they were talking like they had known each other forever. I watched as he stayed in line with her, carried her bag to the car, and then eventually came back. He was a little teary eyed because he said as they talked she said that all her kids lived in different cities and wouldn’t be here until Thanksgiving and that she recently lost her husband. Then he said that it was God that brought them together because he didn’t want to come with me that morning at all. So instead of rushing through a crowded grocery store I stood there for 15 minutes and watched two total strangers bring joy to each other. Ever since that day, whenever we go to that particular store, He hopes to run into her.
Hello! I love my Son’s sweet little heart. He loves giving hugs and kisses and rocking his sister’s dolls lol. He is 3 and loves the fact that Jesus is in his heart dancing because He is happy to live there.
Hi! I’ve got a 6 year old boy and 2 girls 1yr and 3 months. Josiah is the best big brother! He loves his girls and doesn’t hesitate to help me with them. I would love to read this book and also share it with my sister who is also a mom. Sometimes I get so bogged down with all the things I have to do I forget to giggle. And to make our home a place to giggle. Thanks for the giveaway. Merry Christmas!
My 5 year old son loves to help anyone! And yesterday as he and I were doing a bit of Christmas shopping, he would say, “Hi, Merry Christmas!” to almost everyone 🙂
I have 2 boys, 5 & 20months. I love seeing their smiles and hearing their laughs
My boys are 5 and 7 months. I love everything about them, but I mostly love the bond and kindness I see between them. Big brother is so caring towards his little brother, and little brother loves his big brother so much. I just love to see them interact.
Hello! 🙂 My 5yo will ask me what he can do to help me (his favorite is emptying the dishwasher), and my 3yo asks throughout the day if he can give me a hug and a kiss 🙂
Hi!! I have 2 boys, my almost 2 year old loves life to the fullest and shows the warmest kindness towards his little brother and loves to help and give to others, so sweet! My almost 7 month old lights up the world with his big ol gummy smile. His eyes shine when he smiles, I love it, it’s contagious! We would love to read the book, especially during those exhausting, trying days 😉
what a wonderful thing for Charlie to do! Love it! and the book looks fun – I don’t have any girls yet but maybe my son and I could learn something!
Hello!I have two boys, ages 7 & 3. What I love about my oldest is that that he has such a kind heart. He loves to open doors for people. Every night he prays to God to let there not be any bullies in school. As for my 3 year old, I love his innocence & how loving he is. He constantly gives me hugs & kisses and tells me that he loves me.
My boys are 13, 11, 9, 7, and 2. They can be vicious to one another and best friends within the same 30 seconds. They carry their little sister and brother to the car and help buckle them. They are a huge help to me around the house.
Hi Courtney! One of my boys is grown and married, the other is 12. I’ve watched them (when they didn’t know I was looking) help others willingly time after time. I know it’s nothing I’ve done in their lives; it’s God’s work in their hearts. Thanks for the chance.
Hello. I am inspired daily by your Facebook posts. The things I love moray about my two boys (who are 4 and 2) my favorite thing about them are their personalities and how curious they are. Watching them grow is so much fun.
Wow. that’s a neat story. We made hot chocolate packets to give to those who serve us (post office people, trash guys). When we took the ones to the post office, the gal who most often serves us, said we made her day. I thought she might cry. That was encouraging.
My Little Man is 3 1/2. I see his kindness most clearly when he brings me a tissue when I cry or when he gives me a hug b/c I don’t feel good (seems like a lot this year 🙁 )
I have three boys, twins who are going to.be four on Valentine’s. And the baby who just turned two. They are very young but have always had such a sweet heart….. my twins can’t stand seeing trash in public it takes so.long to.walk though anything because they always. Stop.and.want to.grab trash and throw it away where it belongs. And all three seem to hurt when a baby cries and will.give them hugs kisses and toys to make them happy:) I pray the u continue to.grow in love and in doing kind acts!!!
Hi, I love your post! Made me cry! I have 5 boys and 1 girl, ages 15-4. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and we are going to follow your example. I will be taking the kids out with their gift money to Light Em Up!! It will be best Christmas ever! What do I love about my boys? That they will be SO into Lighting Up tbe World for others…they’ll make a regular habit. (they already do in other ways) 🙂
I love watching my boys (4 & 2) interacting with their baby sister (7 months). They love to make her laugh.
My one grandson is so gentle and such as good “babysitter” to his 2 year old cousin, he loves to make her laugh!My other grandson (we raise both of them) has a heart of generosity and cheerfully gives away his toys, candy, etc. to others.
My grandboys have limitless energy and joy. Would love to learn how to direct that positively.
Sounds like a fun book. I love my boys because they can be rough and tough but them turn around and be so gentle and sweet.
My sweet boy (4) is such a joy. He often complements me on how I look but it really warmed my heart when I was dressed to go to my husband’s work Christmas dinner and he said, “Mami, you look beautiful!” Sometimes he’ll come up and smell me and say that he loves the way I smell. It’s just such an innocent expression of his love. He was an unexpected blessing and God knew we needed him in our lives.
I have four boys and each one is so individual. I love that each of them shows compassion and empathy in their own way. They each ask for what they need in different ways, as well. I love that they each seem too big to snuggle, but always find a way to be close to me…praying that never ends. 🙂
I have a special needs son who is 9 and on some days it is hard to find the giggle. But he can be kind and helpful and I Take joy in that. I also have an almost 3 year old who can be funny, cuddly and helpful. As well as getting into that three year old stage. Merry Christmas!
Hi, I have seen a new tenderness coming from them as we brought their sister in the family 🙂
Hello, my little guy is 2 and I love how he already tries to protect me.
My boys help me so much around the house. I love it!
I have an 8yo son and one of things I love about him is his concern for my heart. When I pick him up from school the first thing he does after giving me a hug is ask, “how was your day?”. As a single mom this means the world to me that he even thinks to ask that.
Courtney, I NEED your book…I’m the too serious mom, the one who gets annoyed with too much noise, the one who forgets what it means to be a kid! However, I’m a work in progress, I’m praying for God to change my heart. I have 3 wonderful boys, and I really want to enjoy every minute of them. Please consider me in your giveaway.
Hello! I love the glimmers of kindness that shine out of my young boys when they hold the door open for seniors….without my prompting!!
Hello! We asked our kids to help us determine where to do some of our giving this fall. They are in a service organization at school that sponsored a food drive, so that’s what they wanted a portion of our giving to benefit. We gave them each the same amount of money to purchase items for the food drive. Our kids also have classes in separate buildings at the school, and the buildings were having a friendly competition to see who could collect the most items. Our kids had spent most of their money, and when it was time to make our second stop for purchases, my son offered the rest of his money to his sister. You see, his building won last year’s competition, and he wanted to help her building win next year. His kindness and generosity made me a little teary – and I realized that what we are trying to teach really is sinking in. Proud mama moment 🙂
Hello! I have two boys and three girls. I love watching them grow in the different characters that God has made them, and the different gifts He has given them. They often set me a good challenge, for which I daily rely on God for His wisdom, but they are such a blessing!! I love to see my 5yr old son cuddling his baby brother, and playing games with him to make him laugh.
I have a nine yr old son. We went to a rather formal Christmas party last night with distant relatives that he has only met maybe 2-3 other times in his life. They gave him an unexpected Christmas present last night. Without being prompted, he went to their table later and thanked them for the gift. (In the past, he has been very shy with folks he does not know.) He was the only one out of several that they had surprised with gifts to thank them. I was surprised by his courage but not by his kindness because that is his nature. He has a sweet, caring spirit. I just love that about him so much!!
I love how they surprise me with their knowledge of the bible and Jesus.
My oldest boy (4 boys, oldest is 5) struggles on a lot of attitude fronts, but he also very clearly has the gift of encouragement. He is SO encouraging to his next youngest brother especially, everything from “you did a great job building that LEGO tower!” to “that’s a great picture you colored!” to “good job reading that word!” I love it so much and hope THAT’S the attitude that sticks around!
My husband and I have really been trying to focus on the gift of blessing others during the holidays – so we do many intentional acts of kindness during Advent. I love watching how excited my boys are to participate, their sweet ideas and suggestions, and their great acts of generosity!
What a beautiful message. I have four boys and one very silly husband and sometimes it is difficult to handle all these boys. I know they need me but sometimes I really don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I so want to be more for them. I hope that I can get oy together before it’s too late.