Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

Dear family,

It’s not even September yet, but with 2020 being kind of, umm, rough to put it mildly, everyone’s already got their pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween decorations up. Normally I don’t want to hurry the months away, but this year, I’m totally for it. I get it: I wanna skip to the good part, too.

The problem with that, though, is that we are moving ever closer to Thanksgiving at a rapid pace. And before you can say “cranberry sauce” it will be Christmas. As you know, the holidays are usually my absolute favorite time of the year. I may drive you crazy with my Christmas selfies and Thanksgiving hashtags but you know you love it, too!

But now, as I sit on the cusp of fall 2020, I’m already mourning the holidays to come.

Remember last year, when my little family of five and I got a preview of a solitary Christmas after my husband came down with Influenza A on December 22nd? We made the best of spending Christmas completely alone, without you all—without grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and cousins . . . but I’ll be honest: comparatively, it sucked.

I can only imagine that this year will, too.

RELATED: To My Friends Still Social Distancing

With COVID still running amok and the holidays being smack in the middle of what is likely going to be a cold and flu season to end them all, it is likely that this Thanksgiving and Christmas we will all be celebrating alone with just our immediate families—to protect each other. And the thought grieves me oh so very much.

You see, I don’t want to miss out any more anything. I. Am. OVER IT.

It’s been a year of missing out like no other. We’ve missed graduations, proms, family reunions, birthday parties, and HUGS. Oh my word, how many hundreds of hugs have we missed? It literally pains me to think about it.

I don’t want to give up more memories with you. I don’t want to give up cousin Emily’s INSANE Thanksgiving planning spreadsheet or seating chart. I don’t want to give up watching our little kids play hide and seek or our teenagers bond over the newest Marvel movies. I don’t want to sacrifice seeing my mom and dad open the presents that we adult children carefully collaborated on. 

And dangit, I don’t even want to miss fighting over the last bit of Aunt Bethie’s sweet potato casserole. (Because I love the taste of sugary sweet potatoes AND the taste of victory!!)

So many of the “kids” in our families are young adults now. This year, if we aren’t together, we will likely be missing our last holidays with several of them before they marry or move away. And dangit, I don’t WANNA. I really, really don’t wanna.

RELATED: Missing This Time With Loved Ones Hurts

But I will. I’ll give it up.

Because, dear family of mine, missing one holiday season with you is worth it if it means we will all be well and healthy enough to come together, even some of us, for all the holidays to come. I will sacrifice Thanksgiving and Christmas 2020 in the hopes of being together for every year after.

I hope you know that you are everything to me. And that if we have our health, we have everything we need.

So while circumstances may keep us apart this year, it is my prayer that our sacrifices will bring us together in the next. 

RELATED: In Times Like These, It’s OK To Cry

If on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day the only way I see you is on FaceTime or Zoom, I’ll be more than a little sad. I might let myself wallow in it a little. But if it means I get even one more day, month, or year with you, it will be worth it.

It’s gonna hurt, my dear ones. 

But it will be worth it.

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 for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Her View From Home

Millions of mothers connected by love, friendship, family and faith. Join our growing community. 1,000+ writers strong. We pay too!   Find more information on how you can become a writer on Her View From Home at

A Permission Slip for Creativity

In: Living, Motherhood
Create Anyway book in the middle of kids playing with building blocks on floor

The following is an excerpt from Create Anyway by Ashlee Gadd, available today wherever books are sold! In those first few weeks at home with a milk-drunk newborn in my arms, I Googled every little thing, hopping in and out of online parenting forums, desperate for an instruction manual. Is it normal for a baby to poop six times in one day? Does breastfeeding ever get easier? Underneath my nitty-gritty questions loomed the ultimate insecurity every first-time mom battles: Am I doing this whole motherhood thing right? Just a few months prior, I had quit my pencil-skirt-and-high-heels- wearing marketing job...

Keep Reading

The Isolation of Motherhood

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Mom sitting beside stroller, black and white image

During my early years of having children, I can recall feeling like I needed more help with juggling—taking care of my little ones and our home. Although my mother-in-law was only a 10-minute drive away, she was preoccupied looking after my nephew and nieces. Awkwardly, I would only ask if it was really necessary—like a doctor’s appointment or the dentist. Even at church, it was difficult to ask for help—either we didn’t know certain members well enough to entrust our kids to their care or they were friends with children too and that hardly seemed fair to burden them. The...

Keep Reading

The Abuse Was Never Your Fault

In: Living
Silhouette of curly hair woman in sunset

Trigger warning: this post addresses abuse. “You were a rebellious teenager, it was your fault.” Those words have been said to me more than they ever should have been. As a teen, I was groomed into relationships with men 10 years older than me. Men groomed me, and because I thought it was love and I “consented” to it, the adults around me didn’t protect me and blamed it on my being a rebellious teenager. To this day some people in my life continue to tell themselves and others that it was my fault to avoid the guilt of knowing...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Love Means Slowing Down

In: Friendship, Kids
Two boys on bicycles riding to park, shown from behind

Think of something faster than a 7-year-old boy on a two-wheel bike. Maybe a race car at the drop of the checkered flag? Perhaps a rocket ship blasting into space? Or how quickly a toddler mom books it out of the house after being told she can have a hands-free hour ALONE in Target. Yes, all of these things are seriously speedy, but I have still never seen anything quite as quick as a boy on a bike on a sunny day with endless open track ahead of him. Until today. Today, my 6-year-old son wanted to ride bikes with...

Keep Reading

To the Mom Going through a Divorce

In: Living, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman holding young girl outside, blurred background

To the mom going through a divorce: you can do this. I’ve been where you are, staring at a mountain of changes and challenges that felt insurmountable. The crushing ache of divorce, of family disruption, of building a new life, and helping my son through it all seemed endless and impossible. But eventually, I made it through to the other side, and I want you to know: the pain won’t last forever.  The first year following a divorce is an overwhelming puzzle of putting your life back together. And when there are kids involved, there is so much more to...

Keep Reading

I Wish My Family Could See More than My Faults

In: Living
Mom standing with child on dirt road

I am and always will be a self-described mini-train wreck. I’m disorganized, have trouble keeping my house clean, and my kids aren’t perfect angels. In my home, we have fights, slammed doors, foul language, and dirty dishes in the sink.  I sometimes go in the bathroom and cry so hard my mascara streaks down my cheeks—that is, when I wear mascara. Usually sans makeup and hair tied with an old scrunchy is the look I often rock.  I’m notoriously terrible about making appointments for myself, I’m constantly tired, and my nails could stand a good manicure.  I’m overweight, and I...

Keep Reading

There’s Something Special about Old Friends

In: Friendship, Living
College of pictures of friends, black-and-white photo

There is much to be said about old friends. In quotes, in the five regrets of the dying, in The Golden Girls theme song. But life gets busy, doesn’t it? It gets complicated—marriages, jobs, kids, errands. Friendships that were once part of us seem to fade into the background as lives grow and shift.  Being the always optimist, the queen of nostalgia, the friend who probably holds on just a little too tight, I have always seen the value in the old. The familiar. I’m the person who orders the same menu item every time at my favorite restaurant. I’m...

Keep Reading

8 Fight Songs for the Single Mom

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Woman holding earbuds in ears

They whispered to her: You cannot withstand the storm. I have had days when the storms hit me while I sat on the shower floor with my knees to my chest feeling completely defeated, letting the hot water beat down on my body. I have had nights when the storms hit me as tears stained my pillow. As time has moved on, I am learning how to beat the storms. This is only possible because of the family and friends that God has brought into my life. This is my fight song. These are and have been my take back...

Keep Reading

Take the Trip, You Won’t Regret It

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood

Two years ago, in the middle of a snowy, windy, Colorado March, my husband and I made the spontaneous decision to road trip to Arizona with our three very young kids.  Even though I was excited, the nerves were so very real. Over the next couple of weeks, I literally lost sleep worrying about the logistics of our trip. My late-night mindless scrolling was replaced by searches like “traveling with toddlers” and “keeping kids entertained on road trips”. We already had our hands full chasing kids at home in a familiar setting. Were we crazy to think we could just...

Keep Reading

Bust Out the Clipboard of Fun: It’s 90s Con Weekend!

In: Living
Candace Cameron Bure Andrea Barber on an airplane, taking a selfie with sleeping woman by window

In a world divided by basically everything, there’s one thing we all can agree on: growing up in the ’90s was the absolute best. You were dialing up to the internet on a monstrosity of a computer, probably with a free trial of AOL your parents got in the mail. You had a Discman with double bass boost and a sweet pair of Sony headphones with those foam pads over the ears. If you were lucky, your friend down the street had the coveted clear telephone AND a dedicated teen line. And every day after school, you cracked open some...

Keep Reading