Little green boots, a Target run and one of the scariest days of our lives

January 2, 2023

Little green boots, a Target run and one of the scariest days of our lives:

Tony and I went to Target with our girls and Lion. We grabbed hot chocolate at Starbucks in the store and I went with the girls to look at clothes while Tony went with Lion to walk around. He’s a very loud and busy boy so anytime we shop, at least one person is on baby-duty, watching him closely. It was an ordinary day, except that there are no ordinary days when it comes to God and the eternal. 

Every day miracles happen. 

This was that day. 

After a couple minutes, I walked to the dressing rooms so Scarlett could try some jeans on. Moriyah and I were chatting and all of a sudden I saw Tony come around the corner looking panicked and he yelled across the room, “Abbi, I need you right now. I lost Lion and can’t find him anywhere.” For him to look and sound that panicked, we all knew it was very serious. Without saying a word, all three of us girls split in different directions looking. 

We started pacing, looking through every isle, calling his name. Tony passed me and said, “there were two different men that approached him at different times within minutes of each other. They both were very disturbing and seemed to be watching him. Lion started to run around the corner where I knew one of the guys were and then as I ran a few steps behind him, he was gone.” 

My heart dropped to my stomach. Another mom was listening and told me to notify the front desk. I ran over to this young lady working and told her my son was missing and two men had been watching him. She looked nervous and unsure what to do. She spoke on her walkie-talkie to someone and asked what they do if a child is missing. The voice on the other end said, “we would call a code yellow” and then she responded with, “I think this is a code yellow then”. Instantly I heard all these walkie-talkies all around me and saw all the employees take positions all over the store. That same girl asked me for a description of my son and what he was wearing. I said, “dark brown hair….” And then my mind went blank. I couldn’t remember anything else. 

All I wanted was to keep looking for him. 

A mom listening behind me said,

“wasn’t he wearing little green boots?” 

“YES! Oh my gosh! Thank you!! Little green boots! And sweats!” 

During this time, Tony was running through the parking lot checking vehicles, checking bathrooms, checking everywhere. Scarlett was on the opposite side looking while I had Moriyah stationed at the front doors watching every person coming near the doors. 

My mind was having all these split second thoughts as I’m frantically looking everywhere, feeling like I’m just going in circles. 

Thoughts like “is this really happening?”, then begging Jesus to help us, then thinking they won’t know what his nigh-night is when he asks for it, then panicking about what could happen to him if someone really had him, then telling myself he’s still there, and only being able to speak the name of Jesus out loud as I’m desperately looking everywhere. It felt like an out of body experience. 

Someone asked to take me to look at the security tapes right as I saw Tony running in from the parking lot so I had him go instead since he knew more details of last seeing him. 

I walked up to Moriyah at the front doors, grabbed her, prayed with her and started to look again. I recognized a girl I saw at a church we went to just the day before and asked her to pray. 

No one felt like a stranger in those moments. 

I just needed help from everyone to find my baby. 

As I started heading to the section we had already run around so many times, Tony came running so fast out of the security room saying “He’s still here!” In the blurry pixelated camera he could see those little green boots. I started running behind him and saw Tony get to this clothing rack partition and pull back three shirts. I saw my baby boy standing there, stiff as a board, arms by his side. I ran, grabbed him, held him and burst into tears. 

Tony ran to find the girls while other mamas were there with me. One cried with me while standing there with her two little ones. Another girl came and hugged me. There were really good people there that day. 

As we left and thanked the team that helped us, we got into our jeep and all started crying. So much gratitude that he was safe. 

We started recounting what happened again… 

Two men approached Lion and seemed to be watching him. Both had beanies on low and wore glasses. 

Lion starts to walk around the corner where one man was and then within seconds it’s absolute silence and he’s gone. 

If you know our boy, then you know he’s loud and wild and so busy, fast, curious and never stops. He definitely can’t stay still for very long.

So how does this wild boy slip into a hiding spot and remain completely silent and completely still for 10 minutes?

Tony asked that question in the car, “how did he stay there that whole time?”

Instantly I could see in my mind this huge angel covering him, protecting him, hiding him. Later we were able to have the security cameras retold to us on the phone the next morning and they saw him start to walk where that man was, but turned to slip into the clothes and remained there for 10 minutes exactly until we found him. That alone is a miracle to see a wild two year old boy stay silent, standing that long. But I know with everything inside me, God spared his life that day. The God that exists outside of time and space, the God that has authority to speak over bodies to be healed, to speak, to walk, to stay silent, guarded my boy, kept him silent and drew a boundary line around him that the enemy couldn’t cross. Again, there are no ordinary days. 

That night I woke up with a mind full of thoughts and asked the Lord if there was anything else He wanted to show me from that moment. And He did. It was like a slow motion movie of what was happening both in the physical and in the spiritual. It was a sobering reminder that the enemy is real and our children need our prayers. The spiritual realm is more real than the physical. What we see will fade but the spiritual is eternal.  (read 2 Kings 6:15-18)

The day after, it all caught up to me what happened and what could have happened. Every moment that day felt different. Suddenly our seemingly ordinary routines felt like this precious gift. I couldn’t stop staring at my boy’s face and soaking in every expression he made, thanking Jesus over and over and over in my mind. As I watched him snuggle his brother in the morning, I was crying. As I watched him bouncing around the room on Scarlett’s back while he’s belly laughing, I was crying. Seeing his delight as he grabbed Moriyah’s hand to run into the kitchen to make breakfast with her, I was crying. Everything he was doing was settling into my heart that we GET TO have these moments with him. It’s all a gift. It all could have been lost in a second but he’s here and we have him. We’re all together and that’s all that matters. 

That day shook us to the core and reminded us that NOTHING ELSE MATTERS more than our babies. Nothing. No amount of anything this world has to offer compares. 

My friend Katy, without knowing the details of what happened yet, said she was praying Psalm 91 over my family. I grabbed the closest Bible to me and as I read the chapter I could hardly see through my tears as I read the verses and pictured those little green boots peeking out under the protection of God:

“His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you. You can run under his covering of majesty and hide. His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm.” (vs 4) 

“God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go, defending you from all harm.” (vs 11 )

As mothers, we are to be vigilant and sober-minded on behalf of our children, praying for them, fighting for them and standing in faith for them. As mothers, we are the ones to battle the darkness and the evil in this world and to fight like hell for our children’s hearts, minds, bodies and souls. This world is after our children, especially in America, trying to confuse them, devalue them, lie to them, steal them and celebrate their confusion. But make no mistake, true mothers are ANOINTED to mother their children. As a mother, you are called and chosen and equipped moment by moment to step into the lives of your children as a lighthouse to keep them safe. Keep fighting. Don’t become distracted with busyness. Be sober-minded and vigilant in prayers. 

Our children need strong mamas.

I have so much faith for this year and yet that was a sobering experience to show me that I need to be all the more vigilant in prayer and to have a wholehearted focus on God daily. I can’t get distracted even for a moment. I can’t let my guard down spiritually. That experience with Lion was a very real and tangible example of what can happen within two seconds. Life can be changed forever in a moment. I feel a fight and fire burning deep in my soul. A holy anger for the protection of my children. The enemy sees their potential and has marked them. But my God has marked them first and as their Creator, He has created them intentionally with a purpose far above any attack the enemy may try on them. God has anointed them for kingdom work and has set a boundary line around them that the enemy has no authority on earth to cross. They are covered by the blood of Jesus. My job as their mother is to seek the face of Jesus, ask for spiritual eyes to see what I’m fighting and to wear the armor of God. (Read Ephesians 6:10-11)

The morning before everything happened, I woke up early while it was still dark outside and felt the need to pray. During that prayer time the Lord put specific things on my heart. Afterwards I wrote this down: These are His kids. Trust Him. 

I needed those words before everything happened. Our kids are first His kids and He is with them even when we can’t be. He’s their safe haven, their stronghold, their protector, their shield, their covering. 

All three of our sons have had encounters with men attempting to walk off with them at different times all around the same age. This is a real battle. The enemy sees their potential but so do I. God has given me, as their mother, insight into who God made them to be, each individually, and I speak it over them daily since they were in my womb. I’m a fighter to the end and I won’t ever stop fighting for them. 

Keep praying, mamas. Our children need strong mothers to fight for them and to constantly place them daily in the arms and care of God. He is trustworthy. He is good. He is safe. As you seek His face, on behalf of your children, and purpose in your soul to fix your eyes on Him, He will anoint your steps, your words and your mothering to be exactly what your children need. Don’t back down. Don’t play small. Trust your God-given gut.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith…” 1 Peter 5:8-9 NKJV

The little green boots we will save forever. 



  1. I LOVE THIS MAMA!!! I love hearing your perspective and telling of that day and all that happened there. You are a warrior mama who fights hard for your children! We need more mamas like you in the world. I am so thankful you are my mama and fight for me and my siblings!! 🙌🏻♥️
    We will forever keep those miracle green boots! 💚
    I love you SO much Mama!! Thank you for sharing this!


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