Lesson Learned From My Thumb Sucker


All of my kids suck on their fingers and have unique ways of doing so: Abbie switches thumbs; always has… still does. Quinn sucks the knuckle of his pointer finger on his right hand. Seamus sucks his middle and ring finger on his right hand; he usually ends up looking as if he is signing “I love you”.

I was not a thumb/finger sucker. My husband, on the other hand (no pun intended), was. For a looong time.

I am certain that there is an orthodontist out there who is going to become a close family friend.

Their need to suck is especially strong when they are tired and falling asleep.

Last night I went in to lay with Abbie for a bit. She had come into our room and wanted a glass of water. I couldn’t resist snuggling into the bed with her. Our time together is so brief now that she is at school… As I snuggled next to her I listened to her attempting to suck her thumb as she fell back to sleep.

It’s not as easy as it usually is. She has a cold; her nose is stopped up, so she can’t breathe and suck her thumb at the same time. I listened to her attempt this┬áseveral times. Even once she was asleep, some part of her brain couldn’t decide what was more important: breathing or sucking that thumb.

Since I couldn’t fall back to sleep, my mind started considering her quandary. I guess it was one of those moments where God wanted to speak to me, so my daughter became thirsty so that she’d wake me up…

Why do we put ourselves through so much unnecessary struggle? There is that internal struggle to do what we know we need to do versus the things that our flesh wants to do. That pull is so strong.

But, they aren’t always big and obvious. It can be “do I go for a walk or make myself a milkshake?”, “do I sit down and play with the kids or clean the kitchen?” Neither option is bad. But if we play that game long enough it keeps us from what we should be doing.

The desires of our flesh are so strong. Left to our own devices, they would surely win EVERY time.


  1. Your kids are adorable! And that was a beautiful, thought-provoking post.
    Not one of my three kids sucked their thumbs – two of them were deeply addicted to soothers for years, and believe me, we’d rather they liked their very portable thumbs. But no.

  2. Beautiful children! Don’t you just love when God uses something your children do as a lesson for you! I love those moments.

  3. Dionna Sanchez says

    I love how you bring a moral out of your stories! :)

  4. How nice that you found inspiration in something as everyday normal as this. The photos are adorable.

    Beck tickles me the way she refers to soothers. We called them suckies and neither one of our girls would have anything to do with pacifiers. Neither one ever sucked her fingers either. Believe me, there were times I would have loved it if putting their fingers in their mouths would calm them.

    Adorable photos. Your children are beautiful.

  5. The Imperfect Christian says

    You are right on the money. It is a daily struggle made difficult by the fact that there isn’t a BAD option, they are both GOOD, it’s just a matter of deciding.

    Thankfully, those decisions come more easily when we take the time to be still and listen to His words.

  6. Cute pictures and nice post. My little cousin does a two-for. He sucks on his thumb while his finger is up his nose! haha

  7. nosthegametoo says

    Very cute babies.

  8. Great words of wisdom here. Nicely put.

    Of course, in my case there would be less flesh if I ate more pickles and less milkshakes! But maybe that wasn’t quite the point of your post…. ;-)

  9. Glass Half Full says

    Very good and since my oldest son is still a thumb sucker to sleep, I understood completely. :)

  10. Wow. You DO have deep thoughts! When I see my Middle Kid sucking his thumb, all I can think about is braces. ;)

  11. This is a good message my friend. We do put ourselves in situations that we don’t have to be in. It reminds me that my flesh has to constantly be trained to do what the spirit wants it to do. This is a great post. I needed this today a lot. Thank you.

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