Water into Wine

My daughter was two years old. We sat on her brand-new “big girl bed” while Daddy took apart her crib.

It was one of those mom-moments, a rite of passage felt deep in the bones. My youngest child was graduating to a bed without sides, a veritable open range compared to the little space she used to sleep in. She sat quietly beside me, while dolls and stuffed animals looked on, tucked into the sheets of her new twin bed. She stared at the progress of the crib’s dismantling, and I wondered what she was thinking.


Maybe she was nervous, but it didn’t show. Well, maybe it didn’t show because I was too involved in my own feelings. I remember at one point, I turned to her and said, “Mommy doesn’t have a baby anymore…”

It was probably not the best thing I could have said. I could have spoken in bright tones about the new look of her new bedroom. I could have admired the sheets we shopped for together. But mom was feeling a little blue, so the words came out before I could scoop them up and swallow them back down.

I’ll never forget how she reacted to my melancholy remark. She turned around, reaching for something. Then, ever so gently, she placed one of her baby dolls in my lap.

I wanted to cry. My two year old was comforting me. A simple gesture, a generous sharing of what she had, changed my mood to one of joy and thanksgiving. A babydoll in my lap healed my aching heart.Β That child got the stuffing hugged out of her.

It was a water-to-wine moment.Β A child’s simple offering became a doorway to the divine.

When Jesus scooped the ladle into the water jars at the Wedding in Cana, He made something ordinary into something singular and surprising. Water became wine. He did no less that day, in my little toddlers bedroom.

God does that as often as I’ll let Him.

The words I say, the things I do to comfort or support are weak things on their own. Platitudes and awed silence are often what I can offer when you tell me about terrible things that have happened to your loved ones. But when I pray to God to help me be a healer, a patch for your open wound, He makes what I say have a power I don’t even recognize. But you do.

My watery-thin, flimsy words become rich, soothing and soul-settling because God has dipped His ladle into my soul and changed everything. When you tell me how much you appreciated our talk, or just how perfect that plate of cookies was, I’ll be surprised at first. But then, I’ll remember.

God was here, and changed everything.

What the world can offer us and what we can offer to each other never seems like very much. But we offer what we have. Although we take the first steps, when God is invited in, the results can be quite surprising.

Maybe even miraculous.


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78 thoughts on “Water into Wine

    • Hi Diane! Oh my, thank you SO much for your comment. I never know when I write if anything will resonate with anyone else. It was a powerful and humbling moment for me (so many years ago, but I remember it so well). I’m glad you enjoyed it so much.

      You are a very encouraging presence for me,

  1. Ceil, this was beautiful. I remember these days. My babies are 8 and 10 now. It seems like just yesterday I was convincing my oldest to like his big boy bed. My heart sank as I read this because I was recalling those snuggly, drooling baby years of curling up on the couch and watching Dora or Miffy or…sometimes Frasier. But this wrapped up into such a sweet tale! How kind. How much she understood. It really is just amazing, isn’t it? They grow up. But it’s good.

    • Hi Sandi! Your children are still young! Oh my…my ‘little toddler’ is now thirty years old. They do grown up! And you know, she’s a wonderful mother to her three little ones. I’m sure she is making memories with them too.

      I used to watch Barney with my little foster children. And he’s still around today! I have watched plenty of Dora with my grands too. New generations, new things too. But as you said, it’s all good.

      Have a restful night my friend,

  2. Ceil – you have summed things up so well. Often we never know at the time how our words or presence can make all the difference to how someone feels – we might not think of being guided, but I’m sure that often we are. As when your little daughter comforted you we can all recall words which have eased us in our times of distress.

    I’ve sat next to people in shopping centres or hospitals and been humbled by things strangers have revealed to me. Did I choose to sit beside them? Or was I placed there on purpose?

    As your nursing skills eased physical ills, so your words are healing and guiding us in yet other ways. Love and light, Andrina

    • Hi Andrina! I personally don’t think anything is random, that God plans it all for our good. And he can make anything we do so much more beautiful and precious. I’m very sure that the things you have said to other people in your hospital times has inspired and comforted too.

      Thank you for your kind words to me about my writing Andrina. They mean more than I can say. Who knows if anyone will appreciate what we write? You help me keep going!

      Have a peaceful night,

  3. Ceil, this is so true. We think sometimes we don’t have much to offer, and it might be just a little thing, but God can take it and use it for His purposes and people are encouraged. Thanks for this reminder in such a lovely story. Blessings to you!

    • Hi Gayl! Thank you for your kind comments on the blog post today. I know that God will take what little we have, and make it into something beautiful, as long as it’s His will.

      I love this story too πŸ™‚
      Have a peaceful night,

    • Hi Lulu! Thank you for your supportive comments. I hope to have (or at least recognize!) more of those moments in my life. I think there are more than I’d ever know.

      Monday blessings πŸ™‚

    • Hi Donna! Thank you for your encouraging words! And absolutely no, we’re not so old. When I can’t remember the memories of our young family, THEN maybe I’ll be old!!

      It’s always fun to see your name pop up. Thank you for reading and commenting. Hope you had a fun Halloween!

  4. Lovely thoughts, Ceil, about all those things I can take for granted or as you suggest watch Jesus change the most common into something spectacular. Sweet story of your toddler back then comforting you. This all reminds me of church this morning when I greeted at the door. A young mom I studied with last year entered and gave me a warm hug; immediately her almost 3 year old son wrapped his arms around my waist and hugged me so tight. Did he remember me from last year at this time and always wanting to sit on my lap during breaks? I felt so loved. It was like God hugging me! Your message confirmed that hug today!

    Wishing you a wonderful week and lots of warm hugs!

    • Hi Mary! What a sweet moment! There’s just nothing like the hugs and squeezes of children. They just flow from the love they carry inside. I loved your description here!

      I know God was reaching out to you in that moment too. He uses everything and everyone to let us know He is here with us. He certainly knows that children are effective messengers…we always seem to remember those encounters.

      Have a blessed Monday!

  5. I love this story! I think you said just the right thing : ) Being open with your feelings probably helped your little girl adjust much better than bright, cheery words would have. I love her response, too – what a sweet little girl!

    • Hi Anna! Oh, thank you for your support. I felt like such a selfish mom when I said that to her. Maybe it did help bond us in that moment.

      She is still a sweet girl too. She has three little ones of her own, and she’s a wonderful mom, and loving daughter. I am really blessed.

      Have a great Monday!

  6. Oh, my! You must have just melted when she did that!! How very sweet and precious! Those moments of our children growing up sure are hard on us mamas, aren’t they? If only we could slow down time! But, it marches on, whether we are ready for it to or not. Thank you so much for sharing this precious story and the wonderful spiritual application, as well! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Cheryl! Oh, I did melt. I just wanted to hug her so hard. But I also felt bad to burden her with my feelings. But she didn’t appear burdened at all. She had a ready answer, just give me one of her little baby dolls. Ingenious!!

      Time sure does march on, doesn’t it. I am so happy to have little grandchildren to live the experiences all over again. And they teach me so much too. God is good!

      Monday blessings,

  7. Every now and then in life we have moments where somehow we “touch” the love of God. Just like the moment you had with your daughter. Or when we say or do something for someone who is hurting and so give them their moment of touching the love of God.

    Whatever we say or do, we are God’s agents on this earth to show and spread His love whenever we can for the good of others.

    Wonderful post, Ceil. Thank you. I was totally immersed in every word you wrote until I saw the pictures of cookies and cakes. Why did you do that? You distracted me for a quick moment there. So I re-read the whole post once again.

    God bless you.

    • Hi Victor! You know, I did rethink those images, but decided to go with them. I understand your distraction. It’s supposed to be representing what we do for each other, but maybe they don’t quite do that. Sigh… Thanks for reading the post again!

      I really liked what you said about being God’s agents on earth. I can’t agree more. My daughter, young as she was, was God’s comfort for an aching mother’s heart. He uses everyone πŸ™‚

      Have a great Monday!

      • You see Ceil, whenever I see a picture of food I get easily distracted. Life’s very difficult when I’m at the supermarket with food everywhere and pictures too of more foods. Maybe it’s all subliminal; or just a good excuse to get out of doing the shopping.

        God bless.

  8. It is amazing to me when the words and actions of a tiny, innocent child can bring such peace and comfort to an adult. It is quite the role reversal. And yet I have experienced it myself–when a bat got in the house, when I was overcome with grief, and when I was in great need of acceptance.

    • Hi Pam! A bat in your house??? Yikes, I’d need some comforting then, let me tell you. If I could hear over all the screaming πŸ™‚

      I believe that God uses everyone to do His work. Even children! My daughter did something so unexpected, it just jolted me into seeing the grace of the Spirit moving in her. A very humbling event.

      I’m so glad you’ve experienced that too. We need tender love and peace many times in our day. What a joy to recognize that God is at work for us!
      Monday blessings,

  9. Oh, what a precious moment and memory you have shared here, Ceil! Yes, God can use us mightily when we open ourselves up Him and allow Him to work through us. Jesus can always turn our water into the sweetest and most delectable of wines.
    Blessings, my friend!

    • Hi Martha! I’m so sorry about the delay in responding to comments. We just got home from my daughter’s last night, so I slept a bit later today.

      Your thought about the ‘sweetest and most delectable of wines’ really resonated with me. No matter how weak my support or words are, He can make them a thing of beauty. A perfect gift. What a wonderful and loving God we have.

      Wishing blessings on you and yours today πŸ™‚

    • Hi Kathleen! Thank you so much for your encouraging words Kathleen. I so appreciate them, and I’m so happy you liked what you read today.

      Monday blessings to you and yours πŸ™‚

  10. Oh Ceil what a sweet memory to be remembered. That’s how our God works “the last shall be first “reminds me the story that Jesus told in Matthew 20 and Mark 9
    Beautiful reminder indeed Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Delvalina! Wow, that this story reminded you of Scripture is such a great thing! Thank you for sharing that!

      He does use everything and everyone to remind us that He lives in and around us. Such a beautiful thought for a Monday morning!

  11. I love how you describe these memories. I felt the flood of my own memories of my sons as you were describing your daughter. God does indeed change things for our good and we might not recognize this at first, but when looking more closely we see all along that He was right there.

    Good to see you, my friend! I was in a whirlwind of 31 days of writing and felt out of touch with some of my dear friends. Praying your October was amazing.

    • Hi Mary! Thank you for visiting today! I can’t imagine the energy and challenge of writing every day on your blog. Phew! I don’t think I’d be up to it at ALL. I have nothing but admiration for you and the people who took up that challenge.

      I did have a good month, thank you! But now it’s on to November and the new challenges and blessings that come my way…and your way too!
      Monday blessings,

  12. Hi Ceil! What a beautiful and heart-felt post. It’s amazing how the simplest of gestures can be amazingly profound. Those heart moments make for lasting memories.



    • Hi Kim! It really has stuck with me, I have to say. And that was a very long time ago. So it sure was a lasting memory for me!

      It sure taught me to listen, and that simple things really do matter. Just as you said, its the small, heartfelt movement that really shines.

      Have a restful evening,

    • Hi Betsy! Thank you for your encouraging comment today. And you have a beautiful prayer, and one that God truly honors. He wants to change our small, childlike efforts into champions of help. I want to pray the same prayer!

      Thank you for visiting πŸ™‚

  13. Thank you Ceil. This post also reminds me to be in the presence of God always, moving in the flow of time yet present in the moment in front of me. I have a mind that doesn’t stop, and sometimes I am traveling beyond the simplicity of the moment and giving gratitude for the loving gestures of others.

    • Hi Lynn! I know what you mean about the ‘busy brain’ syndrome. It’s hard to slow down sometimes. I do love that thought of being ‘in the moment’ instead of flying around in my thoughts.

      Nothing like be handed a doll to bring you right back to the present!

  14. Hi Ceil, how are you?
    So beautiful what your 2 year old did! So touching and a blessing to have comfort from little things and simple gestures.

    PS: Thanks for letting me know about the video on the blog. I just readjusted the video to public views.

    Sweet Blessings to you

    • Hi Ifeoma! I’m glad you could change the settings on your video. I’ll have to stop by again and check it out.

      I am doing well! We are just back from a weekend visit with my daughter. Her little boy was baptized, and it was a beautiful event. My daughter is now the mom. Amazing!

      Have a peaceful night,

  15. oh, Ceil … tears welling up from somewhere deep. and it’s ok. you’ve touched on one of life’s poignant moments, and these days, my eyes show the response from my heart.

    thank you, friend …

    hugs. and tissues.

  16. Oh Ceil, this brings tears to my eyes. God uses children to bring us such wise lessons, doesn’t He? By the way, that crib is so beautiful. This line is especially a comfort to me – “My watery-thin, flimsy words become rich, soothing and soul-settling because God has dipped His ladle into my soul and changed everything.” Thank you for the reminder to keep offering what we have while inviting God in. Blessings and hugs!

    • Hi Trudy! You truly made my heart so happy. I’m so glad you liked the post today. It is true that God can make what we do just sparkle. My daughter showed me that a little gesture can mean so much!

      Blessings and hugs to you too my friend,

    • Hi Lisa! I was so bowled over by her response. But really, it was a very basic reaction to my thoughts. Missing a baby? Well, here you go! Just a small gift, but it meant the world to me.

      I hope I can do that for others too, aided by God’s grace…
      Evening blessings,

  17. What a tender tear filled moment. wow and love the phrase a water to wine moment. Haven’t heard that before and one I will remember.!! thanks, Ceil. Hope your Monday has started off well.

    • Hi Jean! I did have a good day. The weather is just spectacular, and I did have a chance to get out for a walk.

      The ‘water to wine’ thing was a total inspiration of the Spirit. I hadn’t heard of the term either, but when it came to me, it made all kinds of sense. God is good!

      Hope your Monday went well too πŸ™‚

    • Hi Bill! That is so true. Who could invent what God arranges? I was so surprised by my daughter’s reaction to me…she was the solace and comfort I needed. God is so good!!

      Blessing for a peaceful night,

  18. Dear Ceil, You’ve done it again-such a powerful post told in such a way that everyone can relate. It seems like ions ago that my girls were little. I love how He uses you mightily in your posts-to minister life and grace. Blessings to you tonight.
    Love, Noreen

    • Hi Noreen! Thank you for your lovely comment tonight. What a great way to enter into the evening! I’m so glad this post spoke to you.

      My daughter is up and out and the mother of three herself now. It WAS eons ago that she did this. But it always stayed with me. Aren’t our children such blessings to us? God can use the smallest child to support and encourage. She surely did that!

      Blessings for a peaceful night my friend,

  19. This post resonated so deeply with me Ceil. There are those water to wine moments… I hate that I feel so rushed I may be missing out on them. I love the story of your daughter handing you a doll… a baby substitute… so very sweet.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Jennifer! Oh, I don’t think you are missing much. You are so observant, and ‘in the moment’ with your children. That is a great gift! I think your blog will serve as a reminder of all the great things you did together as the years roll on!

      Have a blessed night,

  20. Picturing your sweet little girl placing her doll in your lap brought tears to my eyes, Ceil! What a sweet story. I love thinking of these special Jesus moments as “water becoming wine.” That is a perfect analogy that I’m going to take with me today, my friend. Thank you :).

    • Hi Candace! It was a moment I have remembered all my life. I hope I never forget it.

      I’m glad you like the ‘water to wine’ idea. That was definitely a movement of the Spirit…thank you God πŸ™‚

      Tuesday blessings,

  21. Beautiful words and a brilliant analogy. I keep seeing the large jugs of wine in Cana believed to be the ones Jesus used to perform his first miracle. Thank you and keep writing.

    • Hi Alice! Thank you for your encouraging words, I really appreciate them. I really had that Cana image in my mind as I wrote too. I’m glad that came through so strongly!

      Hope you enjoyed the beautiful weather we had today πŸ™‚

  22. Ah, my friend, I resonate deeply with what you have written here. Little is much when touched by His hand. None of us in this online community knows when, how, or if He will use our offering to just one person who needed what we offered up, but He is the One who multiplied the loaves and fishes.

    I hope you are enjoying the Indian summery beautiful day we have here in NE Ohio.

    Love and blessings,

    • Hi Pam! I’m so glad you felt connected to the post today. You are so right, just a small thing can really mean so much. Who knows what you have written that has touched someone? Or said or did something that changed someone?

      We did have a beautiful day here. I got out to walk on my favorite nature path, so my day was wonderful!

  23. Wow, Ceil. I love that story. And I love that you try to comfort your friends, even if you feel inadequate. We all are, but with Jesus in us, we can reach those dark places and bring some light to hurting souls every day.

    • Hi Jeanette! Thank you for your kind words my friend. I think we all try to console our friends and family who are in tough places. Never seems like we are enough, does it?

      I’m so glad that God comes right where we are to make it all sing in His grace!
      May you hear God singing over you today πŸ™‚

  24. I always so appreciate our time together, Ceil. And looking forward to time together again soon… even if not until after the New Year.
    Btw, I’m also hanging out in your area on Monday’s from about 5-6pm until I need to be at BSF. I usually sit at that Starbucks. πŸ™‚
    Blessings to you, friend.

    • Hi Beth! Good to know! I’m pretty busy this week, but maybe we can arrange a little coffee date this month! Yay πŸ™‚

      I’m so glad that you’re happy and contented. It does my heart good to read that. The struggle is gone, and you feel like you are in the right place. What a complete joy!

      Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  25. Oh Ceil…
    This was just SO beautiful. Every word, every part of this post spoke so deeply into my heart.
    Thank you. You have opened a new layer of faith for me. A new piece of inspiration and hope that God will turn my water-soaked words, deeds, prayers- into His Holy Wine.

    Oh, how I love this so…

    • Hi Chris! Thank you so much for your lovely comment, I am so touched that you resonated so well with it! I am so glad it brought you new insight too.

      God will turn your actions to wine, because that’s just who He is. He wants you to succeed in being His Son to everyone. Even to yourself.

      Evening blessings,

    • Hi Karen! It is a great story, and let me tell you, it’s the truth too. I’ll never forget that day, I can even picture it in my mind.

      I hope I always invite God into everything. I know he wants to be there anyway!

      Have a peaceful night,

  26. Ceil, I cannot even begin to tell you how much this touched me. My mama’s heart so remembered the days when the crib became the bed, and my babies became my growing-up-too-fast-boys, and then my how-did-this-happen-men. Letting go is so hard. I completely teared up at your sweet daughter’s adorable gesture. She couldn’t have said or done anything more perfect. Precious.

    Yes, sometimes I also feel so unable to say the words or do the things that will bring comfort to another person. But what a lovely picture you have painted of Jesus stepping in and changing our meager offer of *water* into a precious balm of *wine*. I was reminded of the Scripture that tells us that He will give us the right words at the right time. And His Spirit speaking through us is a miracle in itself.


    • Hi Sharon! I think any mom can relate to this story, any dad too. It’s all those steps our children make (that we want them to take), but somehow feels a little sad too. I needed a water to wine moment!

      You’re so right about the Scripture passage too, I didn’t think of it. He sure did come up with the right words that day! And with the mouth of a child πŸ™‚

      Have a good night,

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