Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

Most of us know someone who has been touched by miscarriage.

Maybe it’s a friend, a family member, or you have gone through this yourself. Current statistics show that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. 

My husband and I, as many of you reading this, are 1 in 4. In 2018, at just shy of 20 weeks of pregnancy, we unexpectedly lost our son, Josiah. While extremely difficult as we were processing through our grief, we were overwhelmed by the love and support of friends and family throughout that time. Each person showed their love and support in their own, unique way. And each gesture equally touched our hearts. 

Sometimes, when you’re trying to support someone you love through a difficult situation like miscarriage, it’s hard to know what to say or what to do. You don’t want to bombard them, you don’t want to say the wrong thing, you want them to feel supported without feeling like you are intruding. But you know you just want to do something. The truth is, there is no right thing to do, it is only what feels right to you. Below are 10 things that were done for us during our time of grieving Josiah that were especially touching. I hope if you find yourself in the difficult place of not knowing what to do, one of these gift ideas will resonate with your heart and be able to provide comfort to a grieving heart. 


The last thing someone going through a tragedy wants to worry about is cooking for themselves. Our friends rallied around us and made sure that preparing food was not something we needed to worry about. This was done in a variety of ways. One of my friends, in the interest of not wanting to intrude during a difficult time, coordinated a meal train. However, in the interest of not wanting to bombard us with people in our home, she coordinated all of the meals to be delivered to a designated family member of mine. This was so kind and insightful because while people want to come and pay their condolences, someone who is freshly grieving often does not want to feel the need to host every person who comes to drop off food. The food included everything from our favorite restaurants catered out, homemade meals, desserts, etc. I even remember opening the front door one day and finding a plate of homemade brownies sitting out there for us. 

RELATED: You Were Here My Angel

One of the first nights after our loss, the doorbell rang and a Domino’s Pizza man came and said he had a delivery for our house. I actually sent him away because we hadn’t ordered anything. Ha! I didn’t realize a friend who lives halfway across the country had ordered local Domino’s for our family and had it delivered to our house. Even if you don’t live close, ordering from a local restaurant that delivers is a great way to support your friend with a meal.


Sticking along the line of food (am I hungry?), I had another close friend who showed up the next day with an entire stock-up of groceries. She said she didn’t want us to have to worry about going to the grocery store to get any of the basics, so she went and bought all of those things for us. This is another great way to eliminate some of the stress of everyday life for someone who is grieving.


I know sometimes it can seem like a small gesture, but it’s not. I can’t tell you how many cards we received from friends and family to share their love, support, and prayers. I still have each and every one saved in a special box because it is a great reminder of not only how much my husband and I are loved, but how much my son was loved.


After having Josiah, we had to spend the night in the hospital. While we were there, some of my family went to our house and cleaned everything. Laundry folded, dishes done, toys picked up. I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to walk into our house and find everything spotless. Obviously, there has to be a level of closeness for this to be appropriate, but if you have the opportunity, it is an amazing way to support your loved one. 

Tree or Plant

When my husband’s co-workers found out about our loss, they decided to donate us a Milaeger’s gift card so we could purchase a plant or tree in memory of our little boy. Giving a plant or tree is such a great gift because anytime we look at that tree, we are reminded of the life of our little boy.  

RELATED: Thank You For Not Forgetting My Child Who Died

Donate To a Children’s Hospital or Organization

This might be my favorite on the whole list. One day, I got home and was checking the mail when I noticed an envelope from Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Inside was a card from the hospital, indicating a donation was made in Josiah’s name. I immediately started crying. A donation in the name of my son was now being used to help save other children’s lives. It was such a beautiful, thoughtful gift. 


Having jewelry made is such a touching gift for someone who has gone through a miscarriage. It is a way to provide the parents with something they can wear to keep their baby’s memory close. I had multiple friends make me pieces of jewelryrings, necklaces, etc. One I wear frequently is a necklace that is plain on the front but has my son’s name and birthday engraved on the back. It is nice because while I know what it means, it doesn’t draw a lot of questions. But I keep his memory attached to me.

Verbalize Your Thoughts

Sometimes as friends, you don’t know when you should say something. You don’t want to bring it up too much, but you don’t want to bring it up too little. I have found that it was most touching to me when my friends were intentional about verbalizing their thoughts. When they were praying for me and told me. When they were thinking of me and told me. When they weren’t afraid to say Josiah’s name because it told me that they hadn’t forgotten. That he wasn’t forgotten. 

RELATED: 5 Things to Say to a Woman After a Miscarriage

Girls’ Night

Sometimes, it is just good to be able to get out of the house and take your mind off things. Talk about how you’re feeling if you want or don’t talk about it at all. But most of all, enjoy the company of life-giving friends. If you don’t know what to do, ask your friend if she would like to go get her nails done, go out to dinner, or have a movie night. When you are grieving, it is easy to isolate. But having safe friends to surround yourself with is so important. That friend could be you.

Just Something 

I think sometimes we fall into the trap of, “I don’t want to say or do the wrong thing” or “they just need space,” and we end up giving in to our fear and doing or saying nothing. And while your concern is valid, even if it is imperfect, it means the world to just know that you are there. Your gesture far outweighs the risk of their offense. Your support is valued far more than you will ever know.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2, NIV).

Originally published on the author’s blog

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Justine Oertel

My name is Justine Oertel. I am a wife to Eric, new mom to Kaiyah, and a follower of Christ who wants to make his name known in the world. I enjoy using my personal experience and God’s word to help people through difficult situations that many of us face. To read more, check out my blog

Winter Can be Lonely; Please Check In On Your Friends

In: Friendship, Living
Winter street

Winter can be hard for a mom.  In the summer months, she often sends her kids outside, the warm sun beaming down and the windows wedged open as she listens to everyone run around the backyard.  She cherishes the opportunity to gather everybody for walks in the springtime, bright tulips peeking through, whenever the weather is nice.  Autumn offers respite with its crisp leaves and bearable temperatures.  But winter? Sometimes winter is hard. RELATED: The Lonely I’m Hiding Is Heavy Though beautiful, winter can feel like a ceaseless parade of dark nights. Winter can feel like isolation.  Winter can feel...

Keep Reading

Some People Will Misjudge You; Let Them

In: Friendship, Living
Woman on beach with arms up

Have you ever seen a simple phrase but felt like it was impossible?  “Let them . . .” This is a phrase I’ve seen in many places. It doesn’t matter where it is found, overall it means the same thing. If you’re like me, then you struggle with it. It’s an everyday battle. Heck, it’s an hourly battle sometimes. You can say over and over that it doesn’t matter. Their thoughts don’t matter. Their opinions don’t matter. Their get-togethers don’t matter. Their talking behind your back doesn’t matter. Their choices don’t matter. It doesn’t matter what the case is—it is...

Keep Reading

Every Type A Needs a Type B Person in Their Life

In: Friendship, Living, Marriage
Friends smiling

I spend a lot of time making lists, whether they are in my head, written on a piece of paper, or on my phone and laptop. Lists about what needs to be done today, later this week, or even a few months down the road. Even when I check off all the items on my list, more things pop up. There are always things demanding my attention. Initially, I thought having a list—or multiple lists—was a good thing. I felt organized and in charge of things. But when the lists started creeping their way into other facets of my life,...

Keep Reading

That Girls’ Trip Sounds Fun, but…

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Three friends laughing

To my friends who I used to spontaneously have gatherings with, book a trip last minute with, and have endless energy to entertain: my life is in the most chaotic state it’s ever been because . . . well . . . three kids. Not that I have to justify my actions, decisions, or priorities to anyone. But when I say “I need to check my calendar,” it’s because I don’t want to let you down.  I don’t use my phone calendar. I have a physical calendar I have to find. I have to check my husband’s work schedule (and...

Keep Reading

Please Let This Be the Year His Classmates Come to His Birthday Party

In: Friendship, Kids, Motherhood
Boy blowing out candles on cake

I’m a proud mother of three pretty amazing kids, one of whom has special needs. My son is your “typical” middle child. A wild, rambunctious little boy sandwiched between his older and somewhat quieter sister and his younger, easy-to-love brother. To look at him, you’d never know that G has special needs. But spend any amount of time in his presence, especially when he’s around other people, and it becomes obvious pretty quickly that he’s “different.” He’s been diagnosed with ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and anxiety, and is currently being evaluated for autism. He can’t be still, his...

Keep Reading

Even When It’s Right, Walking Away Hurts

In: Friendship, Living
Woman looking off to side

It’s a weird thing, mourning the living. It’s like your brain just can’t quite wrap itself around the process the same way it does when someone passes away. Choosing to walk away from a relationship begins a long, often confusing, process of mourning. Even if you know deep in your heart of hearts that putting space between you and that person was necessary and good, the mourning process that follows is a hard road marked with doubt and second-guessing. Should I have said that? What if I had just done xyz? Should I have given more time? These questions come haunting. Sometimes...

Keep Reading

I Wish I Knew How to Get a Seat at the Table

In: Friendship, Living
Woman sitting on floor alone

I was raised to believe I deserved a seat at any table where I wished to be seated. Sadly, the world may not look at my place the same way as my mother. I have found myself at many tables. Work tables. Friend tables. Service tables. And many times I have felt like I did not belong. Like no one wants me there. Like I have to fight to keep my seat. RELATED: It’s Lonely Being the B-List Friend I am confused. What is it about me that makes others want to exclude me? Why do I have to fight...

Keep Reading

Dear Moms, Encourage One Another

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Family standing on bridge, color photo

I stood on Millennium Bridge in the center of London with my family of five. Desperate to record this significant memory in this iconic spot, I stretched my short arm as far as I could. I wanted to have some physical memento of this memorable moment with my three children. As I craned and struggled to take the selfie, a mom walked by and simply asked if she could take the picture for me. I gladly acquiesced, and what resulted was the perfect family picture–all children looking in the same general direction, Tower Bridge and the London skyline in the...

Keep Reading

8 Strategies to Get Out of the Lonely Mom Funk

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Mother holding baby looking out window

Ever since 2020 hit, a lot of moms have found themselves isolated more than ever. The old saying, “it takes a village” suddenly didn’t seem to apply the same way anymore. In many circumstances with social distancing and quarantining, it couldn’t.  None of us were able to sail through the past couple of years unscathed. Sure, we were all in different boats, the waves may have hit some harder than others. But we all experienced the waves, we all experienced a change in direction. Many moms were already feeling isolated before setting sail.   Isolation. The meaning of this word changes once...

Keep Reading

Moving Away from Family and Friends Made Us Stronger

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Family photo of parents and three children, black-and-white

In the fall of 2021, my husband and I started exploring the idea of moving out of the Midwest. We had talked about moving for years, especially during the winter months, but we didn’t know where we wanted to move. I distinctly remember asking my husband one week what he wanted to do with the kids over the weekend, and that’s where it all started. We looked at job opportunities and decided to fly to Kentucky the next day and explore the area. After we visited Kentucky, we felt defeated. It didn’t feel right. We wanted it to work, but...

Keep Reading