Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

Early in the morning, rolling in bed, fluffing the covers, your soapy husband scent tickles my nose and wakes me. I inhale the familiarity and think to myself home. Comfort.

My home is where my heart is and you hold my heart. You’ve held my heart since I was a teenage girl.

Sure, we’ve had our movie romance moments with flower-filled gestures, candle-lit nights and poetic stargazing. Those are moments I have journaled about since we started dating during those innocent, simple times. Back when being a teenager and being in love meant putting our best foot forward.

And now, years later, I look at our son and my growing belly with our daughter. I look at myself and see a disheveled wife who is not the teenage girl you chose. I think to myself, “When did I stop putting my best foot forward for you? When did I let the fire die down?”

I wonder when the flame faded and life became more real.

Was it when date night became a distant memory?

Was it after our first year of marriage when we realized saying “I’m sorry” was one of the hardest lessons we’d have to learn as a young couple? Or was it learning to say “I forgive you”?

Was it when I desperately longed for you to change? For us to change?

I think of the many nights I lay in bed, crying, wishing for things to be different. I think of the days filled with anger and selfishness.

I think of all the times when all I did was think of myself.

I think of when I would pull away from you, full of myself and you never strayed. You always moved toward me as I tried to move away from you.

Sometimes I worry about the comfortableness that comes in a marriage. Sometimes I worry that when you feel like my roommate, we’ve lost something.

And then I see you wrestle with our son after a long day at work and I see a love so full and pure, that I can’t even remember what I was worried about.

I see you wrap your arms around me when grief hit me like a freight train.

I see your commitment to work and partner with me as we provide for our family and all doubt is lost in my new breath.

Instead of a list of all I want to change, all that is wrong, I have a list of all I hold dear and take for granted. A list of all you do that is right.

When I stop looking at my own selfish self and look to the One who created our union, I begin to see.

I begin to see love as more than just a flame we try to keep burning. Our efforts to keep something going are all in vain as we long for a selfish return.

It was when God shook my world and removed my earthly lens to see what love really is.

I saw love as a sacrifice. A sacrifice when the Creator extended his arms to this world and gave His son to die for me so he could have a pure relationship with me. So we could have a pure relationship together.

What a great calling God asks of us in our marriages: to give up ourselves and live a life that serves your spouse in love. A life that reflects God’s love for each one of us is to be captured in our marriages.

It was when my heart wrestled with this truth and realized it was I who needed to change. I needed to surrender my heart to the One who truly held it.

It was when I started seeing our marriage as a true partnership and not a “meship.”

It was when I started seeing you with God’s eyes.

It was when I started seeing myself with God’s eyes.

I don’t want us to have a marriage that thrives on a flame we are perpetually running in circles to keep burning.

I want us to have a marriage that stays the course, and moves towards the fire of truth, reminding us of where we’ve been and where we are going.

I remember the times when fighting over the dishes seemed so perilous. I think of the fights over who should do laundry. I think of the fights over when to start a family or when to buy a house. The sleepless nights filled with tossing and turning about our finances.

Conflicts that diminish as I start to look at you for who you really are. I see you as a flawed, forgiven child of the King and then I look in the mirror and see that our true identities are the same.

We are messy humans who live daily by the grace of God and we are on this journey called marriage together.

Things are not perfect and never will be, but that’s OK. With each season comes hard times and challenges and what ifs, but with each season comes a step forward that we make together, side by side, holding hands. And on the other side of those challenges comes something that is sweeter than the aroma of a sacrifice.

On the other side comes a love that is real, raw, messy, and beautiful.

Originally published on the author’s blog

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

Gloryanna Boge

Gloryanna is a teacher turned SAHM whose identity is found in her relationship with Christ. She is married to her high school sweetheart who insists that dirty clothes can be left on the floor. Gloryanna writes to encourage others in their walk with Christ, no matter what season you're going through. If you want to be encouraged, you can follow her writing at http://www.gloryannaboge.com/. You can also catch snippets of her faith and scribbles on Twitter - https://twitter.com/gloryannaboge Facebook - https://https://www.facebook.com/gloryannabogewriterand Instagram - hhttps://www.instagram.com/gloryannaboge_writer/a>

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