Our fall favorites are here! 🍂

We were going to be late . . . again. I still had to get my 4-year-old daughter into the car, drive to my son’s elementary school, walk across the vast parking lot, and pick him up—all in 10 minutes. To make matters worse, my daughter wasn’t cooperating . . . again.

“Here, let me just put your boots on for you,” I urged her.

“No! I can do it myself!” she shouted.

“Fine,” I said.

I gave in knowing there would be more battles in simply getting my daughter into the car. Yet I felt the heat bubble within me—just as it always does when my feisty daughter contests me. The stress tiptoed up my neck and shoulders until it felt like it was going to pop. The anger within me finally simmered too hot. “Just get in the car!” I yelled into her innocent face.

Raindrop tears skipped down her pink cheeks.

I took a few colossal breaths and finally got my crying daughter into the car. After a minute, she calmed down, too. So, I used the drive to quickly run my to-do list through my head. Who I had to drive to soccer practice, what I was cooking for dinner, and things that were going on at school. Then I thought about the heaviness of how life had been feeling. Yes, in the short drive to my son’s school, I let my mind take over my heart. Between family and job troubles, deadlines, and the news headlines—I grew hopeless. But somehow, as my mind sprinted with worry, my daughter calmly recited her letters from a purple Sofia book.

We circled my son’s parking lot. I had to park in the way back—no surprise there. I put the car in park and got my daughter out of her car seat. I wanted to carry her and hold her close. “I’m sorry I yelled,” I told her as I kissed her cheek.

“It’s OK, Mommy,” she said. “But I want to walk by myself.”

I laughed and let her down to the ground. She held my hand as we walked through the sunny parking lot. We heard the bell ring. Yup, we were already late—might as well take our time now, I thought. She picked up a pebble and put it in her pocket. We strolled in silence. But then she stopped walking right when we got to the sidewalk to the school. She looked up at me with her long eyelashes, gazing at me with her hands on her hips. She said, “God’s bigger than you, you know.”

After a stunned pause, I said, “He sure is.”

The rest of that evening I thought about that little nugget of wisdom. God is bigger than me. I just needed my tiny, tenacious daughter to remind me of that.

All of the stresses in our life, big and small—we don’t have to carry those. Life’s burdens don’t have to climb up our backs and sit in our necks like boulders. God, the guy who’s way bigger than we are, can help us with the job stuff, the family stuff, and even the heavy stuff. We don’t have to let it sit inside of us until we blow up at our own kids because of it. We don’t have to do it alone. And we shouldn’t.

I’ve been throwing my hands up in the air and getting down on my knees much more after my daughter uttered those words. I admit, to God and to everyone, that I have weak moments and that I need help from Him. I pray for patience (for my daughter, you bet) and perspective. I pray for guidance and for a more giving spirit. And I give thanks, too.

I’m grateful that my independent daughter told me off that day. I deserved it. I hope she always gives me this kind of perspective when I need it most. She’ll grow up knowing that I am galaxies away from perfection and that I depend on God to help me through each day. Because, yes, God is indeed bigger than me, bigger than my daughter, and bigger than all of us. All we have to do is remember that.

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 now!

Order Now

Angela Anagnost-Repke

Angela-Anagnost Repke is a writer and writing instructor dedicated to raising two empathetic children. She hopes that her graduate degrees in English and counseling help her do just that. Since the pandemic, Angela and her family have been rejuvenated by nature and moved to northern Michigan to allow the waves of Lake Michigan to calm their spirits. She has been published in Good Housekeeping, Good Morning America, ABC News, Parents, Romper, and many more. She is currently at-work on her nonfiction parenting book, Wild Things by Nature: How an Unscientific Parent Can Give Nature to Their Wild Things. Follow Angela on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram  

All I Could Do Was Make It to Church Today

In: Faith, Motherhood
Close up of man holding baby in his arms in church pew with kids in background

All I can do is make it to church today. It was the final thought that shut the door on all the other thoughts this morning. The thoughts that said I don’t look good enough. I should put on makeup. I should wear something nicer. I should find a way to paint my nails without them getting smudged up from holding a baby before they dry. The thoughts that said I am not doing good enough. I should have made supper last night. I shouldn’t have used that glass pan that shattered in the oven while trying to steam bake...

Keep Reading

It’s Time to Talk about the Crushing Weight of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and three children, color photo

As millennial women and mothers, we have been making waves in the sea of mental health. We have unashamedly and unapologetically shared our postpartum depression and anxiety stories so that future generations won’t feel as though they’re drowning in the weight of it all.  I remember sitting in my living room, staring at my newborn, crying in frustration and fear that I was already failing him.  I remember the pain of trying to use the bathroom for the first time after labor, to have family suddenly stop by, and feeling so embarrassed I screamed and they left, ultimately leaving me...

Keep Reading

Kids Need Grace and So Do Their Moms

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Woman touching child's forehead

We were having a hard morning. Our house was overrun with toys, I hadn’t had a chance to get dressed, and my stress level was increasing by the minute. To top it all off, my 3-year-old was having a meltdown anytime I spoke to her. Even looking in her general direction was a grave mistake. It was one of those days that as a parent, you know you’re really in for it. I was quickly losing my patience. My frustration began to ooze out of me. I snapped orders, stomped around, and my attitude quite clearly was not pleasant to...

Keep Reading

A Mother Doesn’t Have to Be Prepared to Be Sustained

In: Baby, Faith, Motherhood
Mother cuddling baby on a bed

I feel the warmth radiating from my weeks-old baby girl’s body onto my lap. She sleeps soundly. But I can’t. My jaw is clenched, my forehead is wrinkled, my body is tense. I’ve been in complete survival mode. Our baby girl unexpectedly made her appearance one month early due to some placental deficiencies and was born at three and a half pounds. I wasn’t prepared.  When I saw my sweet girl, my heart was instantly taken over by immense love and immense fear. Fear grabbing me with every thought, every breath. I wasn’t prepared.  She spent some time in the NICU but not...

Keep Reading

A Love That Will Never Leave You

In: Faith, Living
Cover art of book Pilgrim by Ruth Chou Simons

My firstborn spent a semester abroad in his junior year of college. Like any mom who’s separated from her child, I knew the exact distance between him and me those months he was away. It felt like a million miles, but it was actually only 4,533, including one very large body of water. While he was away, we weren’t even on the same continent, and truthfully, I hadn’t expected the ache to be so overwhelming. Thankfully, our weekly chats on video eased the sadness and served to remind me that, in spite of miles and time zones, there was no...

Keep Reading

I’ll Always Be the One Who Loved Them First

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Family with three small boys standing in kitchen, color photo

I’m no longer the last person he says goodnight to. That’s a hard pill to swallow. Here we are, just raising these boys, hoping and praying things over their futures, watching them grow, teaching them independence and other life skills, hoping they have heard the things we have said, and praying they make our faith their faith and choose to follow Jesus. And then, just like that, without any warning, without asking my permission, there is someone special in his life. Someone he spends hours on the phone with. Someone he wants to spend his time with. Someone who isn’t...

Keep Reading

Thank You God for Everyday Heroes

In: Faith, Living
Firefighter in gear walking, black-and-white photo

Tonight, our family watched a movie together. It was an action-adventure movie where, against unbelievable odds, the good guy saves the day. At some point during the movie, I turned to my husband, and said, “You’re that guy—the guy that is good in a crisis, who saves the day.” Once, when my husband and I were out for dinner, a woman seated near us fainted and was lying on the floor. The waiters and waitresses ran to her aid but didn’t know what to do. My husband is a firefighter/EMT. He had gone outside to grab a sweater, and when...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, about That Other 4-Letter Word

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Portrait of a beautiful little girl in blue shirt

As my kindergartner came bounding through the door back from the park, she seemed ecstatic to tell me all about her adventure, but what came from her sweet mouth was not the usual tale of making friends or playing make-believe. Instead, she stared up at me and said, “A little boy called me ugly.”  As I tried to assess her thoughts on the matter, her big brother was quickly confirming the story and acknowledging to me that it was not a very nice thing to say. As I looked at my husband coming in the door behind them, I could...

Keep Reading

Let Them Have a Bad Day, and Other Wisdom on Raising Teens

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom comforting teen girl with head in hands

I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I have nearly four teens now, and I’ve learned a lot the hard way. I see other parents around me who are just getting to that stage make the same mistakes I did, so I want to share what I’ve learned:   If you want to teach your kids to walk in the way of God, you better not leave out teaching them about forgiveness. That’s a big deal to God. It’s pretty central. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and the heaviness that comes when you have teenagers, and they...

Keep Reading

My Baby is Going to Kindergarten and God Will Go With Him

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Little boy with green backpack walking to school

My baby is going to kindergarten, and I am not going to cry. Yep, you read that right.  My blessing baby (aka surprise addition) is going to kindergarten in seven days, and I am not a weepy crying mess. My kind quiet 10-year-old is starting his last year of elementary school, and I am not going to cry about that either.  And my firstborn—the tiny, five-pound baby girl who made me a momma—will be in eighth grade. Her last year of middle school before high school. It all seems like big changes and big moments. But I am not going...

Keep Reading