By Joyce Williams

When I was a little girl, my mother sang hymns every day from morning ’til night . . . and I probably know the words to every verse of every hymn in most hymnbooks. My vivid memory of my mother includes her curly brown hair, warm smile, cotton dress that she no doubt made, white anklets and canvas shoes . . . cooking, sewing, working in her garden or visiting shut-ins or teaching Sunday school or VBS, always with an eye for the poor and needy . . . and always singing.

Show and tellMy style was a bit different . . . when our children were small and up until they went to high school, I would tuck them into bed and then sit on the end of one of their beds or in a nearby chair and sing them to sleep. I sang the same simple songs, all in the same key, night after night, putting my heart into them so they would get a feel for the sound of personal worship.

Years later, on the first mission trip the girls and I took to Mexico, our oldest daughter was invited to sing as all the girls snuggled down to sleep. Imagine my amazement when, beginning with “Open My Eyes, Lord, I Want To See Jesus,” she sang my old repertoire!

When our son was home from Northwest University on spring break, I rode with him on a short trip to the store. As he drove out of the driveway, he began to sing “Sweet Adoration,” another of my old songs. I commented on it, and he replied, “Mom, it’s one of my favorites.”

When our granddaughter (second daughter’s child) was three years old, I babysat for her overnight. After I tucked her into bed, we said prayers, and I kissed her good night, I sat on the end of her bed and began to sing . . . of course, my old and loved songs. Her little voice came from the pillow, “My mommy sings that to me.” My heart swelled up with joy. As I finished “Oh, Lord, You’re Beautiful” and began “Jesus, Name Above All Names, she whispered, “My mommy sings that song, too.”

“Showing” your faith to your children doesn’t have to be the way my mother did it, or the way I did it–be yourself. But remember, “Show is better than tell!”

Joyce Williams

Joyce Williams, whose family of three children has now grown to include four delightful grandchildren, lives in the beautiful Wenatchee Valley in Eastern Washington. Married for forty years to Pastor Paul Williams, she loves history and enjoys traveling, but writing is her passion, along with her family and her church, where she directs women’s ministries and leads a weekly Bible study. She served three years on the national leadership team for ASK Network, an international prayer ministry. Her first book, The Lady Rose, was published by Heartsong, and you will find her inspiring devotional blog at

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