Watching from the Sidelines

Watching from the Sidelines

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One time a friend told me, “Most people stand on on the sidelines watching what happens to other people.” I assumed she meant people in the news. Then she added, “You’re one of those most of us watch.”

My husband and I endured a stretch of time when we lost both of our fathers, a grandmother, and two cousins. We also had some other problems that were difficult to face. During that time I also got some book contracts. Maybe that was what Bonnie was talking about. Mostly, though, I don’t consider myself to be particularly adventurous or newsworthy. I live a very ordinary quiet life.

Over the last few years, though, I’ve been one of those who watch from the sidelines. Though I have had a happy married life, some of my children have had a lot of heartache. They tried to keep most of the problems to themselves, but I knew something was wrong.

I was told, once upon a time, that the first months of a child’s life are tough on the parents. Sleep deprivation can wear anyone out. Then someone said, “That’s nothing. Wait until you deal with the terrible twos!” That, too was tough, especially since I had twins in my third pregnancy.

I was warned about the teen years. Five children during the years between 12 and 20 made for quite a lot of turmoil, but just as much happiness. One time, when my mother was visiting, she watched me talking to some of my children, and said, “Bettilu, I think you really like your children.”

I frowned in surprise. “Of course, I do. I love them!”

“Most parents love their children, but not everyone likes them,” she answered.

I still like them. I am happiest when I’m with my children, which is rare these days. The toughest times, though, are when I know they are facing problems, not just the normal run-of-the-mill problems of raising children, but more serious problems that can affect their health, safety, and happiness.

I want to fix them all, but the days of handing a cracker to an unhappy toddler are long past.

Recently my daughter lived through Hurricane Harvey. One night, during the worst of the storm, she contacted me on her cell hone, telling me how hard the wind was blowing, and I could hardly understand her, the static was so bad. I spoke as calmly as I could to her, but when I got off the phone, I tearfully asked my husband, “What if that is the last time we ever hear her voice?” I spent a lot of time in prayer that night.

There were days when her area was flooded, when she was without power and she lost all the food in her refrigerator. When the floods receded a little, she ventured out for more food, but the nearby stores were empty. I live in Wisconsin and couldn’t take food to her.

She’s fine now. She’s a strong Christian woman, and she made it through the storm okay. She is now doing her best to help friends who lost everything. There are quite a few of them.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man [mom] availeth much.” James 5:16 KJV

Bettilu Davies About Bettilu Davies

Bettilu Davies is a wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She has authored six published books, first writing fiction for children and teens and recently branching into adult Christian fiction. She has taught piano since 1968 and enjoys reading, crocheting, knitting, paper art, and painting in oils, acrylics and water color.


  1. Laurie Driesen says:

    I love how your friend said that you are one that people watch from the sidelines. It made me think that we, as Christians, should always expect that people might be watching how we respond to life. I’m glad your daughter is OK from the hurricane experience, and so happy that she is a strong Christian!

  2. Tina Dorward says:

    Thankful your daughter is ok and praying for all who continue to struggle through your country and Mexico.

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