DotMom – Friday afternoon keynote by Jen Hatmaker

(my best paraphrase of Jen’s message)

Jen said she feels like as a mom maybe she fits better into the 70’s than the current day.  You know the era when moms would say, “You’ve got a bike. Go do something.”  She said her mom would tell her to be home when the stars come out.  (The rule at my house growing up was that you had to be home by the time the sun touched the horizon.)

Back then moms didn’t worry so much.  They gave kids space and didn’t feel like they had to entertain their kids all the time.  Jen said these days she gets worried when a friend straps a booster seat in her car for carpooling– to transport an 11 year old.

Though she’s a more laid back mom than some, she’s still struggled with her share of worries.  She said, for example, that she’s mapped out a plan of what to do if her minivan ever went into a river.  Down to the second, she knows what she’d do– starting with opening the windows after the car has left the road and before it hits the water.  (I wish I could say my thoughts have never gone in that direction.  But yeah, I’ve got that scenario mapped out– and also the one for when your van-full-o-kids stalls on train tracks.  And a few others.)

Fear makes a mom’s job harder.  We want our kids safe and happy and protected.  But as moms when we get bound up in fear, we’re forgetting that God often teaches folks through challenge, through hard times.    We want to wrap our precious kids in bubble wrap.  And yet, when has God grown you the most?  Think  about it:  was it in times of ease, or during great struggle, failure and loss?

Sure, we want to be wise in our parenting.  We don’t want to be neglectful.  But we want to grow up kids who are brave– who don’t avoid the risky or the hard because “mom and dad would freak out”.  We need people who are courageous enough to go out into this broken world and make a difference.  Our kids belong to Jesus.  Let’s parent without fear.  Let’s rest in His grace.


  1. Just got her book, Seven. Have you read it yet? Let’s read it together!

  2. Guilty as charged about the bubble wrap. I even wanted to put a helmet cam on my kindergartener so I could make sure everything went okay at school. Thanks so much for passing this message along!

  3. I think my own need to control is fed by the culture’s overboard safety measures; I need to relax and trust more than I do. I also need to look into that conference – I just love Travis Cottrell. I have two of his CD’s and they are great.

  4. I’m also a parent of a by-gone era. “Go do something. You don’t need to look like the Michelin man to get up off the couch and go outside.” “You hurt yourself? Ok. No blood? All body parts still attached? You’re just fine.”

    However, I’m now wondering if I’m a bad mother for having not once stopped to plan out what to do in case of stalling on train tracks or driving into a lake or plowing into a solid object and having the car burst into flames or anything horrible like that!

    • Well, I may have not explained the context enough- she was stating it as an example of over-worrying, unfortunately one I could relate to. So if you haven’t figured out that scenario, well, kudos to you for being more laid back than Jen and me! 🙂


  5. Great reminders! And living near a lake and several sets of train tracks–all of which we cross/pass anytime we go anywhere–I have both of those scenarios planned out as well. And now I’m very reassured knowing that I’m not the only one!