My daughter is a no-nonsense disciplinarian. Because she was an envelope-pusher herself, as a child, she can read her kids like a book and knows just what they’re thinking, typically shutting the problem right down. We had Kevin’s family over on Saturday, and while they were playing with their cousin, Collin, there was an altercation between Lilli and Brody.

Kevin and I were in the kitchen, getting the final prep done for lunch, when we heard Emmie handling the situation. He started a conversation that went something like this:

“Wow, she is really doesn’t let them get away with anything. I don’t ever remember being that strict.”

“You’re kidding, right?! Her discipline style is EXACTLY like yours!”

“I guess that’s probably true, because after I handled it, the girls typically came running for you.”

At exactly that moment, Brody cried out, “I want my MIMMIE!”

We laughed, of course, because it was dang funny, but it’s the truth. I’m the nurturer. Sure, I discipline when I have to, but I’m the soft place to fall. I was with my own girls, and I am with my grandkids. I’m referred to as their “safe place” by pretty much everyone.

God is often seen as hard and judgmental, doling out punishments for the slightest infractions. Make no mistake, there is a balance to God, and He IS a disciplinarian. He IS a judge – the ONLY One who can truly judge our hearts. But He doesn’t punish to smite. He disciplines to LOVE.

Remember, however, the balance; He is not just one-sided. He also is our nurturer, our protector, our safe place. I like to think of Him as more of a safe haven, a place for refuge. And you know what? He can act in both roles at the same time, giving you a place in which to tuck in to safety, even as you’re being disciplined and redirected to the right path.

Because sometimes grownups need to cry out and be nurtured. Go ahead. Your refuge awaits.


Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
    I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
    shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
    under them you’re perfectly safe;
    his arms fend off all harm. ~ Psalm 91:4-6 MSG