Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

God gave me a gift today. Don’t you love how He does that? When we least expect it, He just loves on us. He knows what our souls crave, and just like that– He pours out His love.

Today I was on an airplane headed to visit my best friend. This is a mommy-recharge trip, a gift from my wonderful husband. We left for the airport before the sun was awake, before people should even be drinking coffee. After a sweet and teary goodbye, I strolled into the airport and on a plane. . . alone. As a mom to five, this is a luxury. When we planned this trip, I didn’t know the depth of my need for it. Of my need for rest. But He did. He knew my soul was weary, my arms were tired from holding babies, my back tired from picking up endless piles of toys and clothes. But more importantly, He knew my heart was sad. He knew I would be in the clouds.

Have you ever been in a season where life is cloudy? Or stormy? A season where there is joy and happiness, but there’s still a cloudy horizon? Joy can’t fully peak because you can still hear thunder miles away. You wake up with an energy in your step, then when the flashes of lightening appear. . . you feel defeated. I am in those clouds right now.

As my plane took off, I put my ear buds in and closed my eyes. A few minutes later I felt the sun trying to pull me from my nap. I opened my eyes to see we were above the clouds.

Almost breathless. . .”Yes Lord! I see it.”

Above the clouds is the sun. The light. Clarity. Energy. Renewal. Life. It was a profound moment. Simple. . . silly even. I knew the sun was always there. . . but I had forgotten to feel for its presence.

Have you ever been laying in the sun, only to have a cluster of clouds swoop in and block the light? In that moment, have you slowed your breath and focused on feeling the sun through the clouds? I have. I have been desperate for the sun’s warmth, knowing some of those rays will peek through the clouds and I will absorb its warmth. I’ve felt the sun through the clouds. But I had to remind myself, I had to be intentional about seeking its warmth.

In our cloudy seasons, God is still there. We may have clouds blocking His light, His warmth. . . but it’s not gone. He is still above all things, He is still the light of the world, He is still sovereign over us, He is still here. I know this, you may know this too. But have you felt it? Have you felt the warmth seeping through the clouds, reminding you of its presence?

Sometimes I get stuck in the clouds. I forget the sun is still shining. I think it’s going to be cloudy forever. I think the sun will shine for others, but it won’t come to my world. Or it will, but it’s only temporary. The clouds will return, they will prevail. But those are lies. All throughout scripture we see that God is light. And the light always wins. . .

Habukuk 3:4
His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power.

Ezekiel 1:28
As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.

1 John 1:5
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

My unexpected gift today. . . Seeing the light above the clouds. What a sweet moment to see my Father’s love for me. I felt Him saying, “See? I’m still shining over all things– even when you can’t see it. Seek my presence, my warmth. Allow it to permeate your soul and shine in your life. These clouds have no power over you. You are a child of the most high, the Creator of the universe.”

Friends–if the clouds are all you can see today; lie down, slow your breath, and feel His warmth. It’s there, I promise.

 

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

Hannah Carpenter

I am simply a crazy and stressed homeschool mom living in Ohio. I have five amazing kids and one incredible husband who still loves me after 15 years. Most importantly, I am a daughter of the King who is trying to honor Him everyday through my parenting, teaching, art and writing.

The Quiet Work You’re Doing Matters, Mama

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and two girls playing on bed

Mid-morning light spills through the kitchen window as I stand at the sink washing dishes.  “Mom, Caleb just punched me!” 3-year-old Aiden calls from the living room. “He took the remote right out of my hands!” Caleb contends. “I saw the whole thing happen,” their big sister interjects. “It was totally Caleb’s fault.  He started the whole thing.” “Mind your own business!” Caleb barks as he charges toward his sister with his fist in the air. It takes every ounce of restraint I can muster, but I manage not to get sucked into the yelling match happening in front of...

Keep Reading

Wear the Pretty Underwear

In: Faith, Grief, Living, Loss
Woman in evening gown, color photo

This week was monumental.  After 15 years, I finally finished a bottle of Victoria’s Secret perfume. I just wish I would have emptied it sooner.  It was one of those special occasion luxuries because it was not cheap. For years, I had saved this decadent perfume for date nights and holidays. It was too fancy for everyday use. And then, I was widowed without warning. My husband was here one minute, then gone the next. Impossible. Unfair. Traumatic. RELATED: What If Tonight Was Your Last Chance To Have Sex With Your Husband? But we were going to die in our...

Keep Reading

To the Parents Raising My Child’s Future Spouse

In: Faith, Motherhood
Little boy lying on car seat with puppy, color photo

Oh, hey there friend, you don’t know me yet or maybe you do, but at least for now neither of us know that our children will one day commit their lives to each other and by doing so forever knit our families together. One day, we will all sit in the front aisles of a church filled with scores of people who have influenced our babies, but none like us. No one else in that church will know the intentionality, love, and grace of God that it took to reach that day, but we will. The work you are doing...

Keep Reading

Spanking Made Us Parents We Didn’t Want To Be

In: Faith, Motherhood
Silhouette of mother pointing finger at child

Fourteen years ago when my husband and I were preparing for our first child, we felt we already had several tools in our toolbox. Both of us worked with children and youth, and we felt prepared for parenting. We decided early on that we would never spank unless we were completely out of options.  As our bright, sweet, bubbly firstborn entered the terrible fours (yes, he was a bit delayed in his toddler rebellion), we were surrounded by a community of people who believed in “controlled spanking” with hugs and grace afterward.  RELATED: These 6 Words Transformed Discipline in Our...

Keep Reading

I Was Raised by an Easter-Only Mom and I Want More for My Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter read Bible

Motherhood is not for the faint-hearted, and women tend to look to their upbringing for guidance. We may not even realize we’re doing it! But being a godly mother is even more difficult when you weren’t raised by one. The questions are endless: How do I model forgiveness? How do I set the right priorities for my household? How do I explain baptism to my 6-year-old? Is it okay to have undiscipled friends around my children? Do we have to pray over every meal? Is the occasional swear word acceptable?  These questions may be less intimidating if you were fortunate enough...

Keep Reading

Even When it Feels Like I Can’t, I Keep Going

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom holding toddler

When I feel like I can’t do one more thing. When I am overwhelmed and touched out and lost in the logistics of it all. When my physical and mental energy are depleted. When the length of my to-do list needs more hours than I have. When I am so bone tired that I’m sure I just can’t go on. And there is still more to do. And the only choice is to keep going– I keep going. I dig a little deeper and find strength I didn’t know I had. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it...

Keep Reading

What Happens When She Wants Another Baby and He Does Not?

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife, pregnancy photo, color photo

I am on my knees, folded over, with my head resting on the carpet. I am in my closet, which doesn’t see much of the vacuum, and it is the only place I can find to sob out of sight. I feel hollowed out and defeated as if I have run a marathon and was cut short at the finish line. I cry out in prayer, pleading with God to soften the heart of my husband. I desperately want another child, and he desperately does not. I take a deep breath and dry my eyes because my 4-year-old outside the...

Keep Reading

Is Your Marriage on Cruise Control?

In: Faith, Marriage
Couple holding hands in car, above view

Cruising down the road, the highway curled before us like a ribbon into the horizon. Cozy road trips are a staple for my husband and me, and we look forward to the time together. Having been married for 37 years the adventure continues! We have loved each other through the ups and downs, and we have learned a lot about relationships. We also made a point of carefully watching successful relationships and surrounding ourselves with those whose marriages flourished. Nowadays, we have many young couples ask us what it takes to keep a marriage vibrant. One of the key ingredients...

Keep Reading

Ordinary Mornings, Extraordinary Grace

In: Faith
Emily Ley holding Sure as the Sunrise book by water's edge

“From his fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Today, take note of what brings you gladness. That which gives you pause or causes you to take a deep breath. These are glimpses of God’s goodness in our lives, brought to life through moments and things, memories and sounds. Realizations and hope. In its biggest forms: a moment you wish you could freeze in time, and in its smallest: a sliver of grace, otherwise overlooked. I wake up to the smell of fresh laundry, sheets cool against my skin. One eye open, I peek down at the...

Keep Reading

She Just Needed to be Held

In: Faith, Motherhood
A little girl held by mom, color photo

“She just needed to be held,” I texted my husband after a two-hour battle to get my 3-year-old to bed. She’s been sick. Daddy’s been gone. And she needed to be seen. Held. Loved. And in that split second, I felt God say, “Just like you.” When things are chaotic. When we feel alone. When we feel weary. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama When our spirit feels sick. When it all feels like too much to carry. We need Him. To breathe life into us. To remind us of our worth. To remind us of the hope He offers....

Keep Reading