Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

“A new house would be nice.” I murmur to my husband.

Anything would be better than this.

I don’t know how many tens or hundreds of families have lived and died in our home. I can’t imagine this house in its prime during the late 1800’s.

Yeah, 1800’s. Guys, the zipper wasn’t even invented until 1893. Not your typical “Oh my gosh, this house is so old—like, 20 years!”

My husband, our one-year-old daughter and I are renting the place until we find our first dream home.

You know, the dream home where you don’t release a disappointing sigh before you go to bed.

Our farm house rests in Small Town, Nebraska. We have cows fifteen yards from our front door and we can’t see our neighbors past the corn fields surrounding us.

Our siding is light blue, faded and chipped. The uneven foundation is visible from the long, gravel driveway and the roof is twice as low on one side of the house than the other.

I’m sure our home endured a lot of talking amongst its residents during WWI, the Holocaust, or maybe even the Civil War. Perhaps the Statue of Liberty was a new topic of discussion when this house was first built.

I don’t know.

All I know is that it’s 2017, it’s a one-of-a-kind and our one-year-old daughter will probably never forget it…  you know, as soon as she realizes that all homes don’t have a Leaning Room, where we must shove items beneath our appliances to make it level with the rest of the floor.

Again, “A new house would be nice.”

But, I’m not the only one living here.

When my daughter presses her nose against her bedroom window to look out at the cows, she doesn’t notice to the wind seeping through the window frame or the dirt on the sill. She just happily stares at the cows and moo’s back. Sometimes she plays peek-a-boo with them and waves frantically.

Usually, I adjust the temperature every couple of hours based on the amount of wind coming through the cracks. I groan at the baby gate that came detached due to the uneven walls. I check Zillow to see if any dream homes within the area are for sale.

Anything would be better than this.

But then again tonight was distinctive.

When I laid my sweet baby in her crib, she closed her eyes and drifted away. I gazed at her peacefulness and ease with her world. I continued the nightly routine of sweeping the dirt off the kitchen floor for the fifth time today, changed the thermostat, checked the mouse traps and…

Prayed.

Lord,

Help me see my home through my child’s eyes.

Let me be content with the dirt spilling into the kitchen floor, proof of our front yard exploration.

Let me be gratified by the loud bellows of the cows, proof of my daughter’s growing education of farm animals.

Let me relish the moments where my daughter doesn’t care about the age and faults of our home while other parents are fraught with teenagers throwing tantrums about not having the latest iPhone.

Let me rejoice that my daughter is growing up to see that materialistic possessions don’t correlate with happiness.

Let me cherish the inexpensive rent and unique experiences this home offers.

Let me see this not-so-dream home through my child’s eyes, where all she sees is the love she’s surrounded by.

Amen.

“A new house would be nice.” I murmured to my husband,

but this one has the lesson I needed to learn.

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 Meyer

I teach for a living, hopeful to enrich others- while God and my family enrich me without even trying. My main titles include Proud Wife, Mama Bear and Kenny Chesney Groover. 

Wear the Pretty Underwear

In: Faith, Grief, Living, Loss
Woman in evening gown, color photo

This week was monumental.  After 15 years, I finally finished a bottle of Victoria’s Secret perfume. I just wish I would have emptied it sooner.  It was one of those special occasion luxuries because it was not cheap. For years, I had saved this decadent perfume for date nights and holidays. It was too fancy for everyday use. And then, I was widowed without warning. My husband was here one minute, then gone the next. Impossible. Unfair. Traumatic. RELATED: What If Tonight Was Your Last Chance To Have Sex With Your Husband? But we were going to die in our...

Keep Reading

To the Parents Raising My Child’s Future Spouse

In: Faith, Motherhood
Little boy lying on car seat with puppy, color photo

Oh, hey there friend, you don’t know me yet or maybe you do, but at least for now neither of us know that our children will one day commit their lives to each other and by doing so forever knit our families together. One day, we will all sit in the front aisles of a church filled with scores of people who have influenced our babies, but none like us. No one else in that church will know the intentionality, love, and grace of God that it took to reach that day, but we will. The work you are doing...

Keep Reading

Spanking Made Us Parents We Didn’t Want To Be

In: Faith, Motherhood
Silhouette of mother pointing finger at child

Fourteen years ago when my husband and I were preparing for our first child, we felt we already had several tools in our toolbox. Both of us worked with children and youth, and we felt prepared for parenting. We decided early on that we would never spank unless we were completely out of options.  As our bright, sweet, bubbly firstborn entered the terrible fours (yes, he was a bit delayed in his toddler rebellion), we were surrounded by a community of people who believed in “controlled spanking” with hugs and grace afterward.  RELATED: These 6 Words Transformed Discipline in Our...

Keep Reading

I Was Raised by an Easter-Only Mom and I Want More for My Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter read Bible

Motherhood is not for the faint-hearted, and women tend to look to their upbringing for guidance. We may not even realize we’re doing it! But being a godly mother is even more difficult when you weren’t raised by one. The questions are endless: How do I model forgiveness? How do I set the right priorities for my household? How do I explain baptism to my 6-year-old? Is it okay to have undiscipled friends around my children? Do we have to pray over every meal? Is the occasional swear word acceptable?  These questions may be less intimidating if you were fortunate enough...

Keep Reading

Even When it Feels Like I Can’t, I Keep Going

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom holding toddler

When I feel like I can’t do one more thing. When I am overwhelmed and touched out and lost in the logistics of it all. When my physical and mental energy are depleted. When the length of my to-do list needs more hours than I have. When I am so bone tired that I’m sure I just can’t go on. And there is still more to do. And the only choice is to keep going– I keep going. I dig a little deeper and find strength I didn’t know I had. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it...

Keep Reading

What Happens When She Wants Another Baby and He Does Not?

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife, pregnancy photo, color photo

I am on my knees, folded over, with my head resting on the carpet. I am in my closet, which doesn’t see much of the vacuum, and it is the only place I can find to sob out of sight. I feel hollowed out and defeated as if I have run a marathon and was cut short at the finish line. I cry out in prayer, pleading with God to soften the heart of my husband. I desperately want another child, and he desperately does not. I take a deep breath and dry my eyes because my 4-year-old outside the...

Keep Reading

Is Your Marriage on Cruise Control?

In: Faith, Marriage
Couple holding hands in car, above view

Cruising down the road, the highway curled before us like a ribbon into the horizon. Cozy road trips are a staple for my husband and me, and we look forward to the time together. Having been married for 37 years the adventure continues! We have loved each other through the ups and downs, and we have learned a lot about relationships. We also made a point of carefully watching successful relationships and surrounding ourselves with those whose marriages flourished. Nowadays, we have many young couples ask us what it takes to keep a marriage vibrant. One of the key ingredients...

Keep Reading

Ordinary Mornings, Extraordinary Grace

In: Faith
Emily Ley holding Sure as the Sunrise book by water's edge

“From his fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Today, take note of what brings you gladness. That which gives you pause or causes you to take a deep breath. These are glimpses of God’s goodness in our lives, brought to life through moments and things, memories and sounds. Realizations and hope. In its biggest forms: a moment you wish you could freeze in time, and in its smallest: a sliver of grace, otherwise overlooked. I wake up to the smell of fresh laundry, sheets cool against my skin. One eye open, I peek down at the...

Keep Reading

She Just Needed to be Held

In: Faith, Motherhood
A little girl held by mom, color photo

“She just needed to be held,” I texted my husband after a two-hour battle to get my 3-year-old to bed. She’s been sick. Daddy’s been gone. And she needed to be seen. Held. Loved. And in that split second, I felt God say, “Just like you.” When things are chaotic. When we feel alone. When we feel weary. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama When our spirit feels sick. When it all feels like too much to carry. We need Him. To breathe life into us. To remind us of our worth. To remind us of the hope He offers....

Keep Reading

Church Should Be a Sanctuary for Neurodivergent Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child praying in church pew black and white photo

We still have a lot of work to do when it comes to the acceptance of loud, energetic, and spirited children inside the church. It’s easy to preach (pun intended) acceptance of every individual as God made them, but when a 9-year-old is shouting out, repeatedly during a sermon, or a 6-year-old is jumping from one pew to the next during the prelude, that’s when reality sets in. You hear the elderly man behind you whisper to his wife, “Back in my day, children were seen and not heard, what’s wrong with kids these days?” Then the single, 30-something across...

Keep Reading