So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I wrote this letter to my own mama, who died far too soon and far too painfully. But I can’t help but think that there are so many women, so many mamas, who deserve different stories. Better stories. So, if that is you, or your mama, or your best friend, this letter is for you, too. We don’t get to choose our stories. But we do get to choose what kind of hope and strength we get from them. I hope this encourages you to find yours.

Mama, I used to want a different story for you. I wanted your pages to read of health and wholeness and longevity. I did not want you defined by your clinical diagnoses but instead defined by your grandbaby shopping skills, your homemade pie crust, and your barrel racing times. I wanted you to have the blissful freedom to be you, a wife, a mom, a nana, and a friend, unhindered by the confines of sickness.

I think, maybe, what I wanted was wrong.

I was wrong to want that for you, Mama. I was wrong to wish for different chapters. I was wrong to want a different book.

RELATED: Don’t Take Your Mom For Granted—I’d Give Anything to Have Mine Back

Stories about you poured out of our community when we had to say goodbye. I heard you touted as a champion, a fighter, a believer, an encourager, and a dear friend. Your unwavering faith and matchless devotion to Jesus were proclaimed from every corner. There was no question of who you lived your life for and that you prayed all those you knew and loved would choose the same. You were undoubtedly a beloved woman in all aspects of your life.

And through it all, I couldn’t help but wonder if all the things that made you, you, were rooted in the pages I had so many times wished away.

If you would have loved as well, as deeply, or as completely if you hadn’t been challenged in the way you were.

If Jesus would have been your everything if your pages had read wellness and wholeness instead.

If you would have been as strong as you were if you didn’t have to fight the way that you did.

I might have wanted a different story for you, but I absolutely didn’t want a different mama.

And now? I’m not so sure that one could have existed without the other.

RELATED: God Actually Does Give Us More Than We Can Handle

Today, as I approach a Mother’s Day without you, I did not wake up grateful for the road you had to walk. I’m not strong enough to claim that. But I am grateful for who you were because of that road. I am grateful for your story. And I am grateful for the legacy you have left behind because of those pages.

You showed me how to love greatly, wholly, and loyally.

You showed me that motherhood doesn’t demand perfection, but instead just asks that you show up.

You showed me that family meals around the kitchen table are always worth the time.

You showed me that strength has nothing to do with size and everything to do with faith.

You showed me there are always joys to be found, even in our most challenging days.

You showed me Jesus has ordained our pages, and we must always trust Him with our stories.

You showed me a million different things, all of which have led me to this.

Your story was perfect, Mama, because it made you, you. And today, I wouldn’t be who I am without what you wrote into all of my chapters.

I can hear my girl babbling in her crib. She’s awake from her nap, joyfully chattering away. I go to her, she grins at me, and I thank Jesus for the sweet privilege of your shared birthday. A tiny piece of your legacyimprinted on her from her very first breath.

RELATED: Even Though You’re In Heaven, Your Grandchildren Will Know You

Tonight, when I put her to sleep, I will pray that she is good and kind. I will pray that she is faithful and strong. I will pray that she loves Jesus in the way you did. I will pray, today and every day, that I see your legacy on each of her pages. And as the years slip and I see you show up in my girlin her character, in her joy, in her strengthI know it will be a beautiful story.

Lo Mansfield

Lo is a labor RN who left her patients for her own babies when her first daughter was born and her own mama died. She loves her baby girls and she loved her patients --> right now, she's living in the truth that she can't do both and that is 100% okay. She lives in Denver with her husband and two daughters, writing, mom-ing, grieving, running, and (maybe) figuring it out. You can follow her mama heart musings at The Mama Harbor and at her Instagram

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

As an Anxious Mom, I Remind Myself You Were God’s Child First

In: Faith, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping

I remember bringing that squishy baby home from the hospital. His 9-pound birth weight didn’t label him as scrawny by any means, but he was so small to us. I cringed the first time I laid him in the bassinet beside my bed. I wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on him all night long like the nurses in the hospital nursery. I couldn’t make sure he was breathing every second of my coveted slumber. To calm my worries, we turned on our bathroom light and left the door wide open. The extra light wouldn’t disturb our angel from...

Keep Reading

Home is Holy Ground

In: Faith, Motherhood
Kids and mom at home

Some days, I wake up and walk around my house feeling my chest rise looking at the chaotic mess I didn’t get done the day before.  Trampling over toys, incomplete laundry, and dishes that seem to load up by the end of the day. I pause, I stare, and I wonder which of the objects in each room I should tackle first. I take a deep breath and notice my heart and my mind are overwhelmed with a running checklist. Why can’t everything just get done all at one time? You can talk to a dozen mothers and I am...

Keep Reading

I Want My Kids To Know God’s Always There

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding cross in the palm of her hand, color photo

A few months ago, my friend lost his dad. And it impacted our community profoundly. Because he loved SO BIG. Everywhere he went, he couldn’t help but talk to and engage with people—sharing a joke to make them smile or offering a compliment to build them up. He was a connector. And in all the connecting he did, he was quick to remind everyone he encountered that our hearts are ever connected to a God who loves us. It had become his thing to pass out little wooden crosses to those he happily chatted up as he went about each...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime