Why You Should Stop Saying "Just" When It Comes To Parenting | Sarah Philpott

Why You Should Stop Saying “Just” When It Comes To Parenting

“What are you doing today?”

“Oh, nothing,  We’re just out feeding the llamas.”

My mom snickered across the phone line.

Just feeding the llamas?” she said.

“Well, yeah.  We’ve not really done anything today.”

“Hmmph,” she chuckled.  “Sounds like everything to me.”


All I could see was the dust on their boots.  The mud on their knees.  The mess I would have to clean.

But my mom made me recognize something more.

I placed the phone in my pocket, reflected, and actually looked at the sublime scene in front of my eyes.  My kids had galloped through our front yard to get to the front pasture where our llamas live.  Carrying with them were carrots, discarded lettuce & a honey-bun they were convinced the llamas would love.  They’d clamored up the gate and were taking talking to the animals.

With eyes afresh I let out a deep breath, discarded the practicality of being a mom, &  finally recognized the beauty in the dusty feet.

The glory of the little moment–something my kids & I do most everyday– had totally escaped my attention.

We live on a farm in the foothills of mountains.  Our daily rhythm might include just picking blackberries or just making forts in the hay barn.  Just dancing to music in the kitchen or just squabbling over legos.

We all get in this habit, don’t we? Saying just and considering the daily routines of our lives as unimportant and less than spectacular.

Oh-we’re just having Saturday morning pancakes.  Just playing checkers.  Just having a picnic in the backyard.  Just reading a bedtime story.  Just gazing at the stars.

When in actuality…the justs in life are actually the very core at which our home & families prosper.  These little things are the very soul-giving elements for our families. The very place love is rooted.

Sarah Clarkson, in The Lifegiving Home, says, ” There is heaven in the ordinary, in the simple goodness of the everyday…”

And that we must “step aside from the mundane and remember the source of all the life and love we see.”

Let’s embrace these tiny moments of motherhood as building blocks of a life breathing ministry & celebrate the source of all this delight.

This doesn’t mean there won’t be squabbles over leggos or defiant squeals over having to take a bath again!  But it does mean that we can all purposefully cultivate rhythms in our lives that recognize the God-given beauty in the dusty feet.

Profound beauty can be found in the simple.  In the everyday.  In the rhythm of our own ordinary.

Even in feeding the llamas.






Live Free Thursday


About Sarah

Sarah Lewis Philpott, Ph.D, author of Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss, lives in the south on a sprawling cattle farm where she raises her three mischievous children and is farm wife to her high-school sweetheart. She is an award-winning writer & TODAY SHOW parenting team blogger. You can find her books on Amazon and in bookstores everywhere. Sarah is founder of the Loved Baby support group and #HonorAllMoms Mother's Day movement. These days Sarah happily chooses to be a stay-at-home mom and spends her days cleaning up peanut butter & jelly off the counter, dreaming of traveling the world, and chasing her children around the farm. She doesn't believe in sharing desserts. Life is too short to share chocolate! Sarah is a lover of coffee (black), rocking chairs, the outdoors, and Hemingway.

48 thoughts on “Why You Should Stop Saying “Just” When It Comes To Parenting

  1. Great post! I am getting ready to put a similar post on my blog…simple can be profound. It is amazing how we can take for granted some pretty amazing things we do each day.

    What a beautiful landscape you get to soak in each day. Llamas sound fun! Did they like the honey-bun?? We have fun with our rabbits and chickens! 🙂

    1. Thank you for your kind words. They didn’t like the sweets the same way my kiddos liked the honey-bun. Ha. We just got two rabbits today. A new adventure:)

  2. I love reading your posts. They take me home (literally) as I grew up playing with Perry and Lauren whenever the community gathered at the schoolhouse. I hope to one day return to build on our land (next to y’alls) and see (hopefully) our (someday) kids enjoy the same life.

    Tell Perry Hi! And wave at my Dad if he sees him running the roads.

  3. My favorite meal to cook for my family is pulled chicken in the crockpot. Simple and delicious! Thanks for doing this giveaway. 🙂

  4. Love this! “Just” – it’s the little things that matter so much to them – I cannot wait to read this book!
    And dinner….. made one of my favs tonight, red chili 😉

  5. My favorite meal to prepare for my family is a charcuterie platter. The only cooking involved is heating up the Brie. But we all LOVE it. It’s hard to please everyone’s taste. We have very picky kids but this meal is enjoyed by all. I usually get 2 kinds of cheese, 2 kinds of meat, some marmalade, gourmet olives, mini pickles and toast up some crostini. I serve these on a nice wood cutting board and voila we feel so fancy.

    1. Oh and yes, we have this for dinner sometimes. Paired with a lovely cup of tea, it’s a great way to end the day.

  6. Grandma’s Mac and cheese, it uses a stick of butter, cooks the noodles in a quart of milk and bakes for an hour. Slow food at its most comforting 🙂

  7. “When in actuality…the justs in life are actually the very core at which our home & families prosper.” OH, YES! Thank you for this beautiful reminder and encouragement today, Sarah! #livefreeThursday

  8. OH gosh I love this. So so so so much. Wow. Major perspective change going on over here, thanks to your powerful words and message, Sarah. THANK you for that.

    I want this book! 🙂

    I hate to cook- but if I *had* to (like I have to every flippin’ night) I suppose my favorite dish to make is frozen pizza. Home made of course. Like in the home. I’m really good at that recipe. lol

    KIDDING! (Not really)

    My kids favorite meal I make is a pasta with creamy red sauce, and of course Garlic toast. 🙂

    1. You are so kind! You would love this book…Sally even mentions that you can create a lifegiving night around the dinner table with candles, good conversation, and PIZZA:) So you don’t even have to fix the pasta!

  9. We have some picky-eaters in our house….so I love making WHATEVER meal everyone eats enthusiastically….preferably something healthy. 😉 I love the beautiful pictures of slowing down and noticing that you painted in this post!

  10. I like to cook a lot. So I’m always trying to find that new family fav. Some go to meals that will always be devoured seem to be the easiest ones. Spaghetti, chili cheese hot dogs, lentil soup, and chicken/ beef tacos. Nothing out of a jar here!

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