Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I blame the Target baby section.

They get me every time, those tiny little sleepers with adorable animals on the feet or (be still my ovaries) on the butt. I’ve tried avoiding the section completely but even a tiny glimpse from aisles away and I’m consumed with longing. Then, as if Target weren’t bad enough, Facebook starts chiming in. With every glimpse of a sleepy-eyed, milk drunk baby on my feed my breath catches and my throat constricts around the lump that suddenly appeared there. Staring at the tiny, perfect faces I can almost feel their little body nestled perfectly in my arms—such a stark contrast to the way my own children’s bodies have grown long and lanky, stretching from my shoulders to my knees as we snuggle on the couch.

Baby fever. It’s hit me hard. Very hard.

Like any other fever, this will just have to run its course. For our family, a third baby is simply not to be. Yes, it would make me happy. Absolutely. I look at our kitchen table with everyone crowded around it and can picture that extra place. Like ghosts I see the bulky high chair, the bottles, the piles of rejected baby food, the stained bibs . . . it’s perfection. So why wouldn’t we add to our family? For one, because when I blink and the ghosts vanish, my little family of four sitting there, napkins folded in laps, drinking from big kid glasses and eating more or less neatly from real dinner plates . . . that is also perfection and I am happy. So, very happy. But the real, deep down, honest truth is we will not be adding to our family because I cannot sit back and let my gorgeous, amazing, incredibly patient husband wait for me—for us—any longer.

Because my husband has been waiting for a very, long time.

When we started dating and I was skittish and non-committal, still healing from the heartbreak of a broken relationship, he waited.

When I fell head first down the rabbit hole of bulimia, he waited and when I found myself at the bottom I looked up and there he was, hand extended. Waiting.

When I raged at my body and hurled insults and accusations, he waited.

When I told him he was a liar and no one could love something so broken, he shook his head sadly and he waited.

In the doctor’s office when they told us there was no heartbeat and he knew I couldn’t bear the weight of his pain, too, he bottled his tears and he waited.

When looking at him hurt too much and I talked about my feelings to everyone but him, he waited.

When the surgery worked and our rainbow was on the way, he held my hand and his breath and he waited.

Through the stench of morning sickness and the zombie-like exhaustion, he waited.

When anxiety clutched me tight in its fists and I spent days crying that we were going to lose this baby, too, he wrapped me in his arms and he waited.

When the baby came and I couldn’t touch or be touched by anyone but her, he waited.

Through the long nights and the raging hormones, he waited.

When depression settled in to stay and I left for hours, too scared and overwhelmed to come home, he kept our daughter safe and he waited.

He waited through therapists and antidepressants and side effects and withdrawal.

And when those two pink lines appeared, he waited through it all again.

My husband has never complained about the wait and he would never complain about waiting a little longer. In fact, he’d probably laugh and tell me he’d wait as long as I needed because I am worth it. Because we are worth it. But now that our children are growing older and the season of young parenthood is at its autumn, I’ve come back to myself. I’m dancing in the kitchen again and singing to corny country songs and I laugh now. A lot, and with a reckless abandon that leaves me giddy and breathless.

I’ve come out of the haze and as the mist clears, I look out and see him. My husband. Waiting for me to come back to myself and back to him. I see his love and his patience and his sacrifice and I can’t make him wait any longer. Do I want another baby? Yes, but what I want more is to give him this gift . . . the gift of us. The gift of me, coming wholeheartedly home to he man who’s been waiting for me all this time.

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

Emily Stelter

I am a relatively new blogger, though not a new writer, and a mom to two deliciously strange kids. This fall I quit my full time 9-5 to pursue full time momming and writing. I blog about parenting, authenticity and vulnerability at An Awkwardly Magnificent Life. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram.

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

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

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading