Water Spot Mothering by Cynthia Ruchti

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Water Spot Mothering by Cynthia Ruchti

For years, a friend and I met weekly for prayer and Bible study. More than twenty years older, Jackie often prayed for her high school children while I prayed for my toddler children who were supposed to be napping.

As any mother will attest, when we get serious about praying for our children, we can find plenty to pray about.

Jackie and I often laid our Bibles in front of us, open on the table. The day I learned the meaning of water spot mothering, Jackie and I had prayed intensely for our children and their wide variety of crises—large and small. We prayed about their uncertain futures and the certainty that God loved them even more than we did. Tears formed, unbidden, as we poured our hearts out to God.

A series of whispers from the stairway told me my children had found dozens of ways to bypass their naps. But they’d grown to respect the time I prayed with my friend. Even at their young ages, they waited patiently for the “Amen” before interrupting.

When Jackie left and life pulled me into other things, my Bible remained open on the dining room table. I walked through the room a short time later to find my four-year-old daughter Amy kneeling on a chair, tenderly flipping through the pages of my Bible. I knew she was unable to read more than the simplest words on the page, so I asked, “Amy, what are you doing, honey?”

Her answer resonates now, decades later. She said, “I’m looking for the tears.”


She knew I’d prayed for her. Finding the water spots, the tear stains, meant something to her young heart. She wanted to see evidence that my prayers for her had moved me to tears.

How triple true that would be through her teen years! We were just getting started on the water spot mothering concept.

I’ve relived that scene many times since that afternoon. My daughter bent over my Bible, her tiny hands turning the pages reverently, her eyes searching for a wrinkle in the page, looking for the assurance that I cared so deeply, prayed so fervently, and wasn’t afraid to let the tears fall on the sustaining resource for parenting and all of life—God’s Word.

Water spot mothering. Praying with the Bible open. Letting the tears fall on the pages.
I wear the picture of my daughter kneeling on the chair, bent over my Bible, close to my heart, like a silver locket I click open to remind me of my primary responsibility as her mom…even now.


Cynthia Ruchti_green_couch

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her fiction, nonfiction, and speaking events for women or for writers. Her recent release—the novel, When the Morning Glory Blooms, observes the heart-and-faith journeys of three eras of unwed moms. Her July release—the nonfiction book Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices—touches on life circumstances that send us to tear-hemmed prayer for those we love. Connect with her at www.cynthiaruchti.com, Facebook, Twitter, or other network spots.

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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Thanks for posting this, Suzanne. It gave me the opportunity to relive that “magical” moment.

  2. THANK you Cynthia for the words of wisdom. Thank you Suzanne for posting such encouragement on your blog. I remember my daughter asking me one time why I was crying when I prayed. I told her they were happy and sad tears all mixed up. Now she asks me if I am praying happy and sad tears all the time.

    If there is one thing I want my children to know for sure, it’s that their mother is daily on her knees before the Throne of God, petitioning for their hearts and lives. 🙂

  3. Thank you for hosting me here, Suzanne. Even if they haven’t posted a comment, others are finding the story one that resonates with them. It’s been a blessing just appearing on the same page with you!