So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Those of us in the Southeast know that not long after summer begins and the heat overtakes everything under the sky, the hurricane warnings will begin.

Sometimes the storms turn back to sea. Sometimes they break into a hundred miniature storms. Sometimes they slam into the coast like a giant, out of control wrecking ball, intent on maximum destruction.

I’ve lived in the South all my life, and I’ve seen almost every iteration of a hurricane that can happen. So, when our local news began talking about a “monster” storm brewing in the Atlantic, I didn’t pay it much mind. A lot could happen. We watched and waited. We made minor preparations. We bought lots of snacks and lots of wine. We watched the news reports while eating the snacks and drinking the wine.
But the storm paid us no mind. It crept along, taking its sweet time, as if we all weren’t just sitting here, waiting impatiently for its arrival.

By the time the storm arrived, it was mostly a shadow of the former “monster” it once was.

On the day of landfall, most of us had stopped watching the projections. We were weary of all the chatter and media embellishment. I went for a walk and the day was as lovely as they come. Beautiful blue skies with the prettiest white clouds. A light breeze offered respite from the normal oppressive humidity.

It seemed as though even the storm had grown weary of awaiting its arrival. All the time it spent idling away from land, slowly determining its target, actually drained it of most of its strength. Certainly, the storm was devastating and catastrophic for many areas. But the first predictions were wildly different from the final reality.

One early evening about a week after the hurricane’s landfall, I saw a gathering of dark clouds in the distance. Within minutes, the heavens opened wide, covering the ground in rushing water. The loudest thunder I’ve ever heard filled my ears. Lightning streaked across the sky, turning the air electric. Strong winds blew down branches and tossed debris.

No warning. No preparations. No watching other than what we did with our own eyes in real-time. No waiting other than waiting for the storm to pass.

And, pass, it did, and always does. A storm just can’t sustain enough strength to stay in one place, churning with intensity, for very long.

RELATED: Despair Cannot Drown Us, God is Greater

So it is with the trials in our lives. Rarely do the storms we prepare for end up being the ones that hit us. It’s the ones that come from nowhere that knock the wind out of us.

We batten down our emotional hatches to protect our hearts, only to turn a corner and run right into the one person that broke us. We stock up on healthy habits to ward off disease, then find out that our genetics had the deck stacked against us from the start. We plan, we prep, and we worry, all in an attempt to stay a step ahead of the things that we predict will bring us down. But in the end, the worst of times we have to weather ride in like a summer storm: loud and blustery, obscuring our vision and scaring us out of our minds. All with little to no warning.

As a child, I was terribly afraid of storms. My parents tried many things to calm my fears, but what worked best was to have me count slowly between the thunder crack and the lightning flash. Each number represented a mile’s distance between us and the storm.

One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi . . . the numbers and the miles grew until all that was left of the storm was a rumble in the distance, and steam rising from the hot ground.

As an adult, storms don’t scare me quite as much. My childhood fear has been replaced with a buzzy kind of nervousness, along with awe and respect for what God can do.

Many of us see storms as a sign of God’s strength and might. I see them more as a sign of His promise. Less of Him saying to us, “Stand back and see what I can do,” and more of Him showing us, “Look here, see what you can do with Me by your side? Don’t prepare anything. I’ve given you all you need. This storm will leave, but I will still be here.”

Preparation is good, but worry is fruitless.

No one can truly predict a storm’s outcome, except to say that it will eventually burn itself out. But God’s provision is constant, and He will never leave us unprepared.

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)

You may also like:

Despair Cannot Drown Us, God is Greater

God is For Me

Shanna Walker

Shanna Walker finds humor in all things, but is also known to ugly cry at her kids’ school plays. She is a lover of wine, words, family, and friends. Not necessarily in that order, but definitely when they’re all together. A veteran of the Finance industry, Shanna now serves as the CEO of her chaotic household. In her spare time, she does volunteer work she doesn’t recall signing up for and writes about the heart and humor that come with living an ordinary life. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @chicwhitesheep or browse her blog at chicwhitesheep.com.

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

10 Tips to Banish Teenage FOMO

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen with red hair smiling

Do you ever feel like the whole world is having a party—and you weren’t invited Maybe you worry about being included in the right groups or invited to the right sleepovers. Maybe you envy the relationships you see at school or youth group or feel jealous of the perfect social media posts showing others making memories together. If you’re a teen in 2022, you’re probably well acquainted with the fear of missing out. Knowing or wondering what you’re missing or who is getting together without you can leave you feeling lonely. It can leave you lonely and a little blue....

Keep Reading

I’m So Thankful For This Little Family

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Toddler boy and infant girl, color photo

I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, and praying for a life like I have now. Praying for a man to love me, to be loyal to me, to want a family with me, to provide for me, to show me what stability felt like and what it felt like to not ever have to worry . . . and here he is right in front of me. I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, praying for a house I could make a home and raise my family in. Here it is right in front of me. But most of...

Keep Reading

How I Like My Coffee

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter drink coffee

I like my coffee with hazelnut creamer and a dash of almond milk. I like my coffee cold and neglected on the countertop because I’m busy soothing my new baby boy, the one who has made me a mother. In my long robe and slippers, I pace the kitchen floor and hold my swaddled son close to my heart. When his fussing grows quiet, I can hear the ticking of the big clock in the den. The dawn slowly reveals itself, brightening the kitchen in increments. It’s hard to imagine keeping my eyes open until he’s ready to nap again....

Keep Reading

Compassion Holds My Heart

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Child hugging mother

I lean my head in through the window of his van. The first thing I notice is the funny smell. Like cigarettes. And maybe body odor. The second? His tired, wrinkle-lined eyes. They’re dull, lethargic even. My daughter scrunches up her nose. I give her that look and try to hide my own misgivings. But Compassion climbs in the car with me.  And as the taxi driver guides the car toward our destination, I ask him about his story. Turns out he’s been driving all night. Till 5:30 this morning. Taking people home who were too drunk to drive themselves....

Keep Reading

I Was the Girl Who Ran Away From God

In: Faith
Woman standing in grass, black-and-white photo

I was the girl. I was the girl who’d do anything to get high as a teenager. I was the girl who craved love and just wanted to be wanted. I was the girl who wasn’t afraid of anything. I was the girl who stopped believing there was a God. I was the girl who said I would never go back to church. I was the girl who was certain none of it was real anyway because I was wasting my time going places like that. I was the girl who let the heartache and disappointment of this old world...

Keep Reading

I Prayed for You Before I Knew You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, color photo

Baby, I have prayed for you—even before I knew who you would be.  I prayed I would be a mom one day when I was too little to know what I was praying for and again when I really thought my body would not be able to carry a baby. I prayed for you.  I prayed every day as you grew in my belly that you would be healthy, happy, and strong.  I prayed at every doctor’s appointment and scan that I would hear your heartbeat loud and strong.  I prayed for your arrival—for you to be safe and for...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, I Miss You

In: Faith, Grief
Grown woman and her mother, color photo

Dear Mom, Yesterday I went over to your house. I was hoping you would open the door, but Daddy greeted me with his sweet smile. Yes, he still has a mustache. The one you hate, but I did manage to trim it up for him. I cut his hair too.   We talked about you over coffee and waited for you to join us, but you never did. He’s doing his best to do this life without you in it, but his eyes are clouded with memories and mixed with pain. He misses you, Momma. RELATED: I Didn’t Just Lose...

Keep Reading

Spaghetti Sauce Faith

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Mother and little girl holding a bowl of spaghetti, color photo

It was Sunday afternoon, and I was loading my grocery cart higher than I ever had in my life. My husband and I, along with our two kids under two years old, had been living with his parents for three months. We moved from our Florida home to look for a house in Georgia, and they graciously took us in. This was the day I loaded up on groceries—filling an empty refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. My shopping list was all the things. I needed to buy the smallest of table ingredients like salt and garlic powder to the big things...

Keep Reading

Dear Introverted Mom, Take that Break

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman outside with book and food

I am alone, in a hotel room, 20 minutes from home, lying back in the crisp bed, feet propped up on billowing white pillows. A good book is in my hand. The large window beside me overlooks the Mississippi River as the sun slowly sets and people unwind for a southern Louisiana evening in downtown Baton Rouge. I’ll probably order room service for dinner. I spent the afternoon at the coffee shop across the street, sipping on a deliciously caffeinated beverage carefully made to my liking. I ate a delicate snack filled with fruits, fancy lettuce, and expensive cheese while...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime