Sarah Rieke » Living. Loving. Pressing on.

I heard it said recently that marriage is a mirror and parenting is a magnifying glass*. And I really do think there are so many parallels that these metaphors beg a bit of diving into.Marriage is a Mirro

Marriage is a mirror. And what do mirrors do? They reflect what we cannot see. If there were sins and shortcomings in your life that you had not faced before marriage, you’d better believe marriage will hit you right smack in the forehead with them. As you stare into the mirror of marriage, everything you thought you knew about what a good person you were will be challenged. There is nothing like choosing to do a group project for life that brings the ugliest parts of us right to the surface, made visible in that mirror of marriage. And self-reflection can be a hard thing to face.

But do you know what else a mirror does? It allows you to become more beautiful. It allows you to see the hairs out of place, the black speck of pepper in your teeth, the uneven lipstick application. The mirror allows you to see what is really there so that you can fix it, change it, modify it to make yourself more presentable to the world, to those around you. And while marriage may be a trial by fire, a journey in sanctification wrought with tears and frustration of the worst kind, if you are soft-hearted and willing to allow the mirror of marriage to tweak and improve your rough, sinful edges, I can assure you a more beautiful person will surely emerge.

A cute young boy holds a magnifying glass up to his eye.

Parenting is a magnifying glass. And what does a magnifying glass do? Why, it magnifies of course. It makes whatever object you are viewing through its lens much larger than its actual size. Did you think you were a patient person before you became a parent? Did you think you were self-controlled, didn’t need that much alone time, had no temper, no short fuse, were generally very kind with your words? Throw in a little sleep deprivation (ok … a lot), some intense attachment emotions, and a whole lotta immersion and you might see that what you didn’t think was really there – the lack of patience, self-control, or kindness – was indeed there and is now 10,000 times larger than it originally appeared. I feel like now is a good time to say, hashtag: the struggle is real.

But do you know what else? A magnifying glass doesn’t discriminate with what it makes bigger. And if there is one thing that has been true of myself as I’ve grown into my role as a mother is that I have never felt such great love, such intense joy, such tear-filled pride over these little people in my house. Laughter and smiles abound when children are near and every day my heart grows more and more in love with them. My kids make me want to live a big, beautiful, larger than life sort of life.

Mirror and magnifying glass, I couldn’t agree more. The self-reflection and magnification of both marriage and parenting provide such true, authentic beauty to the soul who isn’t afraid of being sanctified by them and immeasurable joy to all who are able to experience them.

*I think I heard it from an episode of the Mom Struggling Well podcast, but don’t remember which episode!! My suggestion is to just head over and take a listen … they’re all so good 🙂 

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  • Brittany - Love your explanation of both metaphors. Creative and thought-provoking.ReplyCancel

    • sarahjoyrieke - Thank you! I had those thoughts when I first heard it … so much to think about in that one sentence.ReplyCancel


Episode 24

For Episode 24 of Heart Lessons I’m so excited to introduce you to Bonnie Nichols of Moms in Prayer International. Moms in Prayer International has a goal that every school in the world would be covered in prayer and I am just so awestruck that the Lord would orchestrate this interview to air just as so many of us around the country are in back-to-school mode and presented with a new school year for our kiddos. I know that Bonnie’s words will challenge you to be more intentional about praying for your children and your child’s school. But even if you don’t have children in school I think Bonnie’s passion for prayer will challenge and encourage you to “step up your game” when it comes to your prayer life. She has so many practical tips for building a great habit of prayer and I know you will come away with something great after listening today.

Heart Lesson: God is love.

Connect with Moms in Prayer: website // facebook // instagram // twitter // email

The Four Steps of Prayer:

  1. Praise
  2. Confess
  3. Give thanks
  4. Petition

Did you love this episode? I would love to hear what it meant to you! Email me at or visit me on facebook or instagram! And don’t forget to leave a review on itunes … it is the best way to allow more people to find Heart Lessons 🙂

And don’t forget to check back later in the week to hear what Bonnie had to say about overcoming the nervousness that might accompany praying out loud in a group.

Thanks friends. Have a great week!

A prayer for our children as they head back to school:

Episode 24

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Five on Friday

Happy Friday friends! I suddenly decided to undertake potty-training this week since we didn’t have a lot planned and so we’ve been in. A lot. And I need space and I’m sooo tired of saying, “Tell mommy when you need to go potty, ok?” Eesh. Anyway, enough potty talk, here is my Five on Friday …

Reading: Simply Tuesday, by Emily Freeman. Such a good book about taking the time to slow down and see God in life’s small “Tuesday” moments. Highly recommended. This is my favorite quote so far:

In my own life, I’m discovering that the subtle difference between my work feeling heavy and my work feeling light lies 100 percent on whether or not I’m holding onto the outcome of my work. When I trade all the effort I put into controlling outcomes with co-carrying the light, easy yoke of Christ, my small moments feel different. 

Don’t you love that?! It spoke volumes to me.

I also quickly re-read 3 Day Potty Training, by Lora Jensen. This was the method I used with Micah and it really did work. Although I don’t think I would have called him a master of the potty by the end of day three. Still though, it was a good method and what I am currently using for Jocelyn too. It also seems to be working pretty well.

Listening to: This episode of Risen Motherhood. I just needed the balance between that above-mentioned potty training method and the reality that sometimes it doesn’t work exactly like the book says it will. In real life we need to know both things.

Loving: Playing legos with my boy. Josh suggested we try and put Micah’s lego sets together and organized separately from his “freeplay” lego bricks and, while I fought it at first (like I wanted another thing to add to my to-do list …), it has actually been really fun. Micah goes through a lego instruction booklet and I find the pieces for him and he assembles them. It’s just a super fun way to spend time together and it also feels productive. I like combining those two things as much as possible.

Also loving? This toothy grin. When did him turn into such a big kid???14044919_10102763576303288_1705552925_o

Making: Cilantro-Lime Rice. It’s a knock-off Chipotle recipe and always a huge hit. Everyone asks me how you make it and truly, it couldn’t be simpler. Basically you just make regular white rice and stir in lime and cilantro after it is done cooking. Seriously, that’s all. And it’s yummy. And easy.

Hoping: That this potty training venture will show its worth. My goodness. It is no joke and not for the faint of heart! The 3 Day method can be summed up in one word: hover. And hovering for 3 full days is hard for this introverted mama. But I am hopeful that this method will work again and Joci will be well on her way to owning that potty! Fingers crossed …

That’s all from me friends. I’m sorry I used the word potty so much …

How about you? Tell me all the wonderful things you’re up to!!

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Episode 23

In today’s episode of the Heart Lessons Podcast you’ll hear from Becky McCoy. Becky is a blogger, writer, and fellow podcaster whose mission is to encourage people to live bravely and authentically in life, especially during life’s trials. As you listen to her story you’ll find that Becky is certainly qualified to speak to this as she has faced her share of adversity. Becky experienced the loss of her husband Keith to cancer when she was eight months pregnant with their daughter. She talks about what life has been like as she rebuilds her new normal after Keith’s passing, what her grief journey has been like, and what is has meant for her to live bravely and authentically. If you are going through a difficult time right now I know Becky’s words will be a great source of encouragement for you.

Heart Lesson:

When you choose to live bravely you experience freedom.

Connect with Becky: website // podcast // facebook // instagram // twitter

We mention:

She Speaks

Hope Writers

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