About a week ago, my five-year-old wrote his first story—the tragic tale of Yummy the Crab who needed a new home and couldn’t find any food. Talk about tension! My son’s a natural! He dictated the sentences beyond his handwriting ability, illustrated the tale with crayon, and stapled the pages into book form.

But then he insisted on giving his first work of fiction to an eight-year-old friend of the family. I begged, bargained, and fake-cried, but I couldn’t convince my son to let me keep his precious little book. He simply could not understand that while his buddy might appreciate his efforts, I, his mother, would treasure them forever.

To me, his first story was a masterpiece made all the more special because he and I worked on it together.

I confess that lately I’ve been riding the what’s-it-matter-if-no-one-reads-it train with my own fiction. I desperately want to share my words with people. I’m so anxious for their good opinion. And subconsciously I think that if they like me and say I’m a good writer, then I’ll really be something.

But there is Someone else who sees my work and places immeasurable value on it simply because He loves me. And my story is all the more priceless to Him because He helped me form each word. Is He asking me to please, please give my words to Him?


Makes me thankful that God uses my five-year-old to teach me lessons rather than the two-by-four I deserve.

If your wondering what I did about my son’s story, I’m happy to say I found a solution. I let my five-year-old give away his very first book, but I pulled his friend’s mom aside. “I want that book,” I told her. “When your little boy is done with it and tosses it aside, please give it back to me.”

She nodded and instructed her son to be careful with the stapled pages. She knew as well as I that worth is measured not by applause, popularity, or material value, but by love.