Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

When I was his age, I used to write inspiring words on notebook paper. I’d carry a pen and notebook with me throughout my day, and each night, I’d rest each one next to me on my nightstand, just in case I’d wake with inspiration.  

Twenty-six years later, I still carry words I adore in my heart. I still (sometimes) find time to write some of them on paper. Often, inspirations filter in and slip away before I can find the time in my day to record them.

These days, in the thick of parenting with quickly growing boys, I take comfort in inspiring words of encouragement and affirmations I can offer my 14-year-old son.  He may not yet know the largeness of these messages, but my hope is that over time these truths will settle in to build this young man into the amazing human he’s becoming.

Fourteen is such an in-between stage. 

The last year of middle school, a place where so many interpersonal and intrapersonal changes happen. The lingering space where he’s almost out of the middle but not quite at the final stretch of high school.  

RELATED: As a Middle School Mom, I’m on the Sidelines—Ready and Waiting

A girl from my high school shared a photo from Hobby Lobby the other day and referenced the quote her basketball coach used to tell her team, “It’s not how big you are, it’s how big you play.” Instantly when I read this, I knew these simple, yet powerful words were meant for my teenage son, right now in this precious stage he finds himself. Smack dab in the middle of his eighth-grade basketball season, I ordered the quote sign and surprised him by hanging it next to his bathroom mirror where he can take in this message every time he stands before himself. 

Eighth grade is awkward, yet exciting. 

It’s a place where your peers start sprouting up at different paces. A place where fitting in becomes like the air you breathe. A place where you start noticing things you never paid much attention to before. 

This year I have watched my son take notice of his body in comparison to his teammates, his growth in comparison to them, and how he measures up, where he fits in body-wise and ability-wise on his sports teams. Eighth grade is a time for taking in the message of being no longer a little boy, but not quite fitting into the category of being a man, not just yet.  

These teen years stir a heightened energy within me that feels familiarit takes me back to my own teenhood.

I notice him noticing changes, and I offer him my open heart and kind words.

I remind him of just how big he plays when he’s out there with his team. I remind him of the qualities he holds that the world needs now more than ever: empathy, leadership, kindness. He holds all of this and so much more. 

RELATED: Dear Son, Now That You’re a Teenager

Sometimes when I go to hug my little boy, I am met with the arms of an almost man hugging me back and when I turn to walk away I know with certainty that he will be his own man before either of us even know it.      

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Courtney Burger

Courtney owns and operates a small women’s therapy practice in Ohio where she helps women get to the other side of their struggles. She is also a wife, the mother of three sons, and a nature photographer and writer. Writing has become her way of turning her pain into purpose. Courtney offers herself in her writing from where she is on her healing path, from a place of acceptance that healing never ends, it just keeps getting better. She recently created her blog, “Wildly, Courtney,” a long-awaited dream, to write so wildly and freely that nothing but her true essence meets her readers. 

Where Did My Little Boy Go? This is the Stage that Sneaks Up On You.

In: Child, Motherhood, Teen
Little boy in Buzz Lightyear costume

I’ve got a teenager. My firstborn, my only son is 13. Just as quick as they all said he would, he grew up and out of that little boy stage I used to know. You really don’t think about this stage—the big-kid-not-quite-yet-a-man stage—when he’s that cranky little baby who won’t sleep (and didn’t sleep a solid night through until he was about two). RELATED: When He’s 13 You don’t think about this stage—the quiet, keeps-to-himself-and-wants-his-privacy stage—when he’s flying around the house in his Buzz Lightyear costume all afternoon. You don’t think about this stage—the voice-awkwardly-changing-an-octave-deeper stage—when you’re busy listening to...

Keep Reading

Mothers Grieve a Million Little Losses as Their Babies Grow Up

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom and little boy at sunset

Fifteen years ago, I was pregnant with my oldest son and I spent all my free moments devouring every baby book I could get my hands on. I bookmarked websites about babies and child development, confident I would now know where to turn for guidance along every step of my parenting journey. I joined online groups with other mommies to expand my social network and find potential support resources. I prepared and prepared and then prepared some more. But, all those books and websites failed to tell me something important—something that would make me cry rivers of tears sometimes and...

Keep Reading

When Your Little Boys Aren’t Little Anymore, This is What You Can Look Forward To

In: Motherhood
When Your Little Boys Aren't Little Anymore, This is What You Can Look Forward To www.herviewfromhome.com

On one unassuming morning in July, the weight of motherhood wrapped its tiny fist around my finger and has never let go. God gave me a son. And then another son. And then another. Three boys in six years. I think I was most surprised by how needy they all were. How emotional and intense. How much they would hang on me and bicker with each other. How early they would wake. Weren’t boys supposed to be easy? Some days I worried we weren’t going to make it. All the good parenting tactics I learned with the first one didn’t...

Keep Reading