So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

In was a chilly, crisp fall morning that October and my hoodie was just enough to keep me warm. The smell of autumn was intoxicating and the colors of the trees were beautifully vibrant, painting the woods in our backyard various shades of burnt orange and red and speckled just perfectly with an occasional compliment of yellow and green. But surrounded by this exquisite color pallet, I was living in a world of black and white. 

We started early that morning and we moved the very last of the boxes into the U-Haul. Somehow, we managed to pack 10 years of marriage into one 26 foot moving truck, a mini-van and the back of a pick-up. At the end of the driveway were reminders of days gone by. An old cracked sled that the girls used to drag up Herbert’s snowy hill and slide back down. Our first coffee table that found its way from the living room at the house prior to this one, to a spot in the corner of the laundry room where it served as a place to stack old clothes and an assortment of unused toys. And a little pink tricycle. Surely, it must have been a hand-me-down now covered in rusty spots and probably hadn’t been ridden in at least 2 years. I have no idea why we kept that old thing. I found myself just starring at it in wonder, surprisingly feeling absolutely nothing. 

I was numb. Although we were leaving bits and pieces of our life here, I knew that another family would fill this home with their love and laughter and someday leave behind their own pile of remembrances tossed out at the end of the driveway. That’s just the way life goes, I suppose.

The entire day I kept reminding myself that every family eventually transitions. We all evolve. Plans are built and plans come crashing down. Sometimes, unexpectedly. Unfortunately, the storyline in your head isn’t the one that always plays out on the road in front of you. 

As I made my final rounds, I moved slowly from room to room. I soaked in the sounds of the creaking floor boards. I knew where each and every one of them hid under the tan carpet because I used to try my hardest to avoid them when checking on my sleeping babies at nap time. On my final walk through that house I couldn’t decide if it was my heart or the home that felt emptier. There were a million memories here, and I tried reminding myself that this was just a shell that kept us safe from the storms outside. But I knew it was so much more than that, and I knew it hadn’t always been able to protect us. 

 The rooms seemed enormous with the absence of furniture. Our youngest child’s room was now only a haze of blue, with bits of dust dancing in the warm stream of sunlight that splashed on the floor. As I stood in the center of the empty nursery, I closed my eyes and could still smell the faint fragrance of baby powder. I felt my heart begin to ache and my eyes begin to fill.

As I walked down the hallway, I stopped and stood outside of the bathroom. I tried to imagine how many times I bathed the kids in that tub, or how many knees I cleaned and kissed and bandaged on that sink. This was the same bathroom I shared with both of my daughters the morning I took a pregnancy test. Standing there, looking into that room, I could almost envision myself sitting on the floor crying tears of joy as I listened to my girls screaming with delight, knowing there was a baby in mommy’s belly. I felt an enormous part of me yearning to somehow ensure the next woman that moved into my house was aware of what happened in that bathroom. It was important to me. “She really should know,” I thought to myself.

And the kitchen. 

My pale yellow kitchen where I spent so much time as a young mom. This very room held more moments in my children’s lives than any other room. It was where we started our mornings together and where they giggled and laughed with the neighborhood kids that would come for lunch on hot summer days. It’s where our dog had some of his most delicious meals because little kids are messy eaters and they were always dishin’ out what I was dishin’ up. It’s where we worked on improving their cursive and gluing together science projects and decorating Valentine’s Day boxes. It’s where I sat while I talked on the phone with my own momma and my sisters and my girlfriends, stretching the phone cord from one side of the room to the other, making dinner and peeking out the window watching the kids in the backyard. Hundreds of family meals took place in this room and our little tribe evolved from highchairs to booster chairs to adult chairs. And sadly, around that kitchen table was where some of the most difficult conversations happened between my husband and me. Not all memories are happy, but they are ours, so we keep them close.

I moved to the living room and the emptiness of this space was almost more pain than my heart could bear. We would never have another Christmas tree in the far corner or celebrate family gatherings here. I looked over at the bi-fold doors and thought about all the times the kids would hide from one another from behind them. And then I saw the old recliner. I literally felt my chest wall shake as though someone reached inside and tore the last breath from my lungs. It was the only thing left in this house and we had agreed to leave it behind.

“That chair is so old. You’ve rocked kids in it for the past 7 years,” my husband said. 

And when I agreed to leave it, I must not have thought it all through. I must have just looked at that old rocking recliner and realized it was not going to match the new furniture in our beautiful new home, so I approved. But just for one moment, I wasn’t sure if it really was okay. 

That chair cradled our family. It’s the space my husband and I shared on Friday nights, pre-babies, snuggled up together watching a movie. And when the kids did come along, that chair is where we rocked them. It’s where I spent hours ensuring I memorized every centimeter of their precious baby faces while I breathed in their sweet baby smells. It’s the chair where I nursed all three of them and where I slept all night with that warm baby sprawled across my chest and in my arms. It’s the safe place where my husband would walk over to, lean in and rest one hand on each arm of that recliner and gently kiss me on the forehead. It’s the chair I cried in when being a mom, and being a wife and just being a woman was all way too much. It’s the chair I made life altering decisions in, some wise and wonderful that would make me a better person, and others that were very regretful. 

Then, I exhaled.

So I turned, and left. Just like that. I did not even have to tell myself that I wouldn’t take one last look at the rocking recliner chair because I just knew I wouldn’t. I knew that I did enough rocking and loving and decision making in that chair to last me a lifetime. It rocked me and my marriage and my babies through the ups and downs of life. And maybe, by the grace of God and some tiny bit of courage I mustered up from deep down in my gut, standing up and getting the hell out of that chair was one of the bravest things I ever did. 

Sometimes, it’s got to be okay to leave an empty chair, sitting in an empty room, in a big, old empty house and just walk away. 

So that’s how it ended. He reached for my hand and we walked forward. And on our way out, much perhaps to my surprise, the door slammed closed and locked behind me. And it was that day I realized I no longer needed that old, worn out chair in order to be able to save myself, and most importantly, to be able to rock on.

Stephanie Faro

Stephanie Faro is a wife, mother of 3, breast cancer survivor and a manager of sales in the health care industry who lives just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has a BSW by background and is currently working on her first book. Stephanie believes that passing the baton of wisdom and experience to the next generations of women is one of the greatest acts of kindness we can show as we all attempt to find balance in a life filled with complications, social media overload and Jesus.

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

To the Mother of My Son’s Future Wife

In: Grown Children, Inspiration, Kids, Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
marriage, wife, husband, grown children, www.herviewfromhome.com

To the mother of my son’s future wife, I’m in the midst of dirty diapers and temper tantrums, but I do have days where I think about the future and what it will look like for my son. I wonder who he will be, what he will do and probably most of all, who he will love. I wonder about the type of woman he will bring home to meet us one day. I have my own thoughts on the type of person I wish my son would fall in love with, but we all know that the heart wants...

Keep Reading

Trading Fleeting Moments of Fame for Unshakeable Faith

In: Faith, Inspiration, Relationships
Trading Fleeting Moments of Fame for Unshakeable Faith www.herviewfromhome.com

The string quartet began playing Pachelbel, as my dad and I took our first steps down the aisle. I began to lose my composure as we proceeded to the altar. Hundreds of guests had their eyes on me as tears streamed down my face. Struggling to look my future in the eyes, I looked to the ground for reprieve. God, everything around me looks perfect, so why doesn’t this feel right? I’m not sure how I got here. The flame once dancing inside of me, has extinguished. Lord, I need you. Dad squeezed my hand gently, “Are you OK sweetie?”...

Keep Reading

Children Don’t Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

In: Inspiration, Mental Health, Motherhood
Children Don't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger www.herviewfromhome.com

“This too shall pass.” As mothers, we cling to these words as we desperately hope to make it past whichever parenting stage currently holds us in its clutches. In the thick of newborn motherhood, through night wakings, constant nursing and finding our place in an unfamiliar world, we long for a future filled with more sleep and less crying. We can’t imagine any child or time being more difficult than right now. Then, a toddler bursts forth, a tornado of energy destroying everything in his wake. We hold our breath as he tests every possible limit and every inch of...

Keep Reading

This North Dakota Homecoming Queen is Capturing Hearts Everywhere

In: Inspiration, Kids, School, Teen
This North Dakota Homecoming Queen is Capturing Hearts Everywhere www.herviewfromhome.com

When Paula and Kevin Burckard’s third child was born, she arrived with a little something extra the North Dakota couple never saw coming.  Newborn Grace had Down syndrome, and the diagnosis initially left the young parents devastated. “When Grace was born, I thought all my dreams for my daughter had basically been dashed,” Paula said.  But it didn’t take long for those fears to subside.  As Grace grew, not only did she meet and surpass milestones, her infectious joy, inspirational grit, and deep love of all things Michael Jackson transformed the family—and countless hearts. The Burckhards went on to adopt...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, When I Forget What It’s Like To Be Little

In: Child, Inspiration, Kids, Motherhood
Hey Mom, Don't Forget—You Were a Kid Once, Too www.herviewfromhome.com

The kids were squealing in the backseat. For the five minutes prior they were begging me to spill the beans on where we were going as I had only told them to get their shoes, get in the car and buckle up. It’s one of the ways I’ve learned to make a simple trip out of the house one that is a mysterious adventure to them. As we took left and right turns away from our house, they were trying to guess where we were going . . . and when we finally pulled up to a brand new playground...

Keep Reading

My Children Deserve To See the Whole Me, Not Just the Mom Me

In: Inspiration, Journal, Motherhood
My Children Deserve To See the Whole Me, Not Just the Mom Me www.herviewfromhome.com

Before I was a mother, I was a human being. A human being with life experiences, passions, fears, talents, hobbies, goals, friends and aspirations that I cherished and tried to honor. Even though I went through a variety of seasons of life . . . from school-age days, to working adult, to wife . . . those things always stayed with me. I stayed open to evolving, but never let go of who I inherently was. Then came motherhood. And suddenly I found myself abandoning my commitment to remain true to me, and leaving any semblance of myself in the...

Keep Reading

My Mother-in-Law’s Legacy: Simplicity

In: Inspiration, Journal
My Mother-in-Law's Legacy: Simplicity www.herviewfromhome.com

The memories of my mother-in-law spilled to the forefront of my mind, just as the contents of his jacket pocket fell onto our dresser. It was Proverbs 31, written on hotel stationery, in my neatest block print. Holding the small papers in my hand brought me right back to her graveside, on a hot summer morning, seven years ago. “Her children arise and call her blessed.” (verse 28) As my second daughter gave a mighty kick from the womb, visible to every mourner present that day, I couldn’t help but to allow my mind to wander. Were my values apparent...

Keep Reading

A Car Accident Left My Teenager Paralyzed—and Incredibly Fierce

In: Inspiration, Journal
A Car Accident Left My Teenager Paralyzed—and Incredibly Fierce www.herviewfromhome.com

I drove back from my son’s college concert near midnight. Exhausted, I glanced at my 14-year-old daughter, Beth, asleep in the passenger seat. We were only 10 minutes from home. I thought I could make it until I heard a road sign flatten on concrete. As the car flipped three times across a bare Ohio field, we left behind an ordinary life. I escaped with cuts, bruises, and blood-matted hair. Beth was another story. The car was cut open and a helicopter rushed her to Toledo. A doctor told my husband John that she was paralyzed. When John broke the news...

Keep Reading

Dear Mama, You’re Allowed To Not Be There

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Dear Mama, You're Allowed To Not Be There www.herviewfromhome.com

Friday afternoon was not much crazier than most afternoons. My husband was mowing the lawn, my daughter was hangry and my youngest son was due to be in a talent show in twenty minutes. I stood in the kitchen—where it seemed like I’d been for an hour—trying to motivate my family to eat dinner and get ready to go. “Get dressed, Jude. Make sure you eat something.” “Dean, do you want a slice of pizza before we leave?” I screamed over the lawn mower. “Maeve, are you going to the optional soccer practice or the talent show? You need to...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime