Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

“It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from within you, the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. This beauty will never disappear and it is worth very much to God.”

I continue to see this quote on Pinterest, often with the notes underneath, “for a little girl’s bathroom,” and it horrifies me every time. Please don’t get me wrong, it is not that I am looking to raise a daughter who is vain or materialistic. I already suffer from nightmarish visions of shopping at Abercrombie during her teen years. And it is not that I do not want my children to know and learn to cultivate a gentle spirit. In fact, I hope that each day I am able to demonstrate compassion, empathy, patience and caring to those around me (some days are better than others); and few things make me more proud than to see those qualities developing in my children.

The part of this quote that bothers me is the “quiet” part. I may be overthinking the verse but it just always reminds me a little too much of “little girls should be seen (though only in the background) and not heard.” Anyone who knows my daughter realizes that it is a bit irrational to worry that this might be problem for her. There is nothing quiet about her spirit. However, my greatest fear as a mother is that my little girl’s voice, so strong and sure right now, will be silenced. That as she grows older, she will become increasingly unsure of herself, and begin to keep quiet to avoid being seen as bossy, or too strong or overbearing. That outdated ideas of how a woman “should” act will keep her from speaking up in class when she has a question or opinion, keep her from standing up for a friend being bullied in the hallway, or stop her from saying no to the boyfriend who wants to take things to a level that she is not ready for.

So, as we plan for the remodel of our upstairs bathroom, I have prepared the following quote for the wall:

“As you get ready for this day, be sure to put on the brightest clothes and loudest jewelry you can find, for with your stubborn independence and passion for life, it is only fair that you dress in a way that lets the world know you are coming. And always remember my little lady, the good Lord gave you a voice, be damn sure that you use it.”

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

Kelly Bay

Kelly Bay is a business owning, beer drinking, girls’ weekend loving mom of three who often falls asleep on dates night with her husband. She resides in rural Iowa and enjoys writing, day drinking and not cleaning her house. Kelly’s work has been featured on Scary Mommy, Sammiches and Psych Meds and Parent.co. Read more of her thoughts on parenting, mindfulness, friendship, marriage and finding joy in the chaos at http://beerandjunk.com/

Dear Teachers, Thank You For Believing in Your Students

In: Kids, Living
Little girl wearing a backpack looks into a doorway

When I was in sixth grade my English teacher, Mr. McMain, left a note on one of my completed assignments. “You have a gift for writing.” I honestly don’t remember how it felt to read those words. Maybe I felt a rush of pride, or maybe I just shoved the paper into my folder and went back to passing notes or whispering with friends. It was a well-received compliment from a favorite teacher, but it meant little more at the time. Here I am, though—twenty-ish years later—and I can honestly say I think about that comment often. As fate would have...

Keep Reading

Dear Graduate, I Love You Forever

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Kindergarten grad

I never imagined these days of preparing for graduation, senior prom, senior photos, and you actually moving out would come. A few weeks into your life, friends gifted you a 6-month sleeper. I remember the cuddly white footie pajamas well. But I swore you’d never get big enough to wear it. How could this 8-pound human grow to fit into 6-month clothes? Impossible. And then somehow they did fit, and then they didn’t anymore. Just like that. Everyone says the days are long but the years are short. Everyone, that is, who has had a lot of years. When I...

Keep Reading

Always Choose Adventure

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Two children looking at aquarium exhibit, color photo

Here’s the thing about traveling with little kids. Is it hard? Sometimes. Sometimes it looks like a whole carry-on dedicated solely to snacks, activities, and emergency treats. Sometimes it looks like buying a drink for the passenger next to you as a way of saying sorry and thank you all at the same time for the airplane kid chaos they endured. Sometimes it looks like altering your picture-perfect itinerary that you meticulously planned on account of missed naps finally catching up. Sometimes it looks like washing a car seat off in a hotel shower because your toddler got carsick, then...

Keep Reading

Love Beyond Words

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugging daughter

My daughter Lexi lost her words and some of her motor functioning when she was two years old. She was three when the silent intruder of Rett Syndrome made itself known through seizures. But here’s the heart of our story: even without words, Lexi and I have created our own language—a symphony of unspoken love. She may not call me “Mom” in the traditional sense, but her eyes, her laughter, and the unique sounds she makes speak volumes to my heart. Each day with Lexi is a dance—one where the steps aren’t always clear, and the rhythm can change in...

Keep Reading

Daddy, Am I Beautiful?

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Daddy holding preschool-aged daughter, color photo

“Daddy, do I look beautiful?” I heard my daughter ask my husband from the other room. I barely heard what she said as I was in the kitchen washing the dishes, but her words struck a chord in my heart. My sweet girl, all dressed to go out, asked for her Daddy’s assurance that she was beautiful, that she was admired and special. It hit me in that moment: this pure and built-in desire we all have to be loved, admired, and wanted. Just as my sweet girl wanted her Daddy’s approval and assurance of love, I so often cry...

Keep Reading

Sensitive Sons Are Strong Too

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy pets kitten held by another older boy

My son has always been timid. When he was a baby, he cried when he lost his pacifier in his crib. If I laughed too loudly, he might burst into tears. Once, he was asleep in his bassinet as my husband and I turned on a movie. The MGM lion roared, and he woke in a panic that seemed to take forever to calm. Now, at five years old, my son wrestles, runs, fights, and screams at the television. He pretends to fight bad guys and save me and his twin sister. He thinks he is the king of the...

Keep Reading

Wrestle Like a Girl

In: Kids, Motherhood
Girls wrestling team huddling on the floor

I’m a wrestling mom, but I’m a new breed. I’m the kind with my little girl on the mat. Sure, I support our son out there, and I scream like a wild banshee with the rest of the crazy parents, and I’m in awe of the athletes these boys are. But then steps out our daughter. And it’s different. She decided to join her big bro at practice years ago when word was just starting to spread about the possible emergence of girls’ wrestling. She was only in kindergarten, but I think my husband might have already been thinking college....

Keep Reading

I’ll Hold on To Moments of Childhood with My Preteen as Long as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Smiling preteen and mother

This Christmas season, my husband took our laser light projector and aimed it at the Australian bottle tree in the front yard. It shone like a thousand red and green fairies dancing through the branches. The first time I saw it, I gasped with glee. Christmas came and went. Much to our 6-year-old’s disappointment, we took down the decorations and boxed them in the attic until next year. I noticed that my husband forgot to put away the light projector though. One Friday night, recovering from a stomach bug, we decided to watch Wonka and fold laundry. We bought into the...

Keep Reading

“Tell Me Another Story, Daddy?”

In: Kids
Man reading to young son

“Tell me another story, Daddy?” I had heard these words since we had finished supper. My 5-year-old son loves hearing stories. He loves to put himself in these stories. He doesn’t just watch Paw Patrol, he’s in Paw Patrol. He is a Kratt brother. And he loves hearing stories about his favorite adventurers with him saving the day alongside his animated heroes. While I absolutely love telling stories to my son, there are many days when I don’t feel like it. When I want to say, “No, Daddy is tired. Why don’t you go play with your toys while daddy...

Keep Reading

Getting Glasses Can be an Adjustment

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Pre-teen wearing glasses

On their last break from school, my daughter and son happily enjoyed a nice week of catching up with friends and having a relaxed schedule. I was careful to avoid overloading our schedule so we had a nice balance of days out and days being at home. As can often happen on a school break, I used one day as our “appointments day.” We had our routine dental checks and eye exams booked. The morning went smoothly with the dentist, and then it was time to head home for lunch. Next, we popped back out to do the children’s eye...

Keep Reading