Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

The phrase “stay at home mom” has always made me cringe. The word “stay” makes it seem as though women are commanded or instructed to stay home with their children (like we would tell a dog to “stay”). It completely disregards the choice and the sacrifice that so many women make to be at home with their children during those early formative years. Furthermore, the phrase “stay at home mom” is completely ambiguous as to what actually happens when I’m home with my kids. So often, I feel as if my husband comes home from work and looks around at the toys and clothes on the floor, the dirty dishes in the sink, and the still-full-of-clean-dishes dishwasher and thinks, what does she do all day?

And yet, I am asked all the time what it is that I do. It has got me wondering: What else could I say when asked about my occupation? I could say that I’m an appointment-maker, calendar scheduler, closet organizer, craft preparer, outfit-picker, housekeeper, laundry-doer, bed-maker (occasionally), floor-scrubber (again, occasionally), tear-drier, owie-fixer, back-rubber, picture-taker, encourager, meal-maker, price-matcher, teacher, bath-giver or grocery shopper.

The problem with each of these titles is that not even one comes close to how I see my current occupation. I don’t want to be just these things and my soul often feels deflated when I consider myself to be one or the other. I want to wake up each day and know that I am serving in the way God has called me to serve in this season of my life. I am no “stay at home mom.” I am nurturing souls for work in God’s Kingdom and for eternity.

Isn’t it silly how when asked what it is we do for a living, we as “stay at home moms” pause for a second and say, “I’m a stay at home mom” or “I’m just a mom” or “I’m not working right now.” Good grief, women! I don’t care what anyone says. There is no harder job than shaping little minds, cleaning dirty bums, and never being able to fully “clock out” for the day. I beg you: Do not diminish your role to the duties you perform. Do not do as I have done for so long and seek to find joy in the “other” things (that is, those things you do when you’re not actively “mothering”). When I look at my Pinterest board, I see the ways in which I’ve attempted to be a better mom. I see pin titles like “Organize your home in 30 days,” “Meal planning to save you money” and “Couponing 101.” While none of these desires to run an organized or put simply, less chaotic household are inherently bad, they do not support my belief that nurturing my children’s minds for God’s kingdom is what my primary job is, needs to be, what I want it to be.

Whether your body housed and nourished your child for nine months or your child was brought to you some other way, the most important job you will ever have is now. So forget this “stay at home mom” garbage. Take ownership of the decision that you made to nurture the souls of your children for work in God’s Kingdom and for eternity. And when the tough gets going, know that He has appointed you for this position and that He goes before you and with you.

“Stay at home mom”? Whatever. I’m nurturing souls for work in God’s Kingdom and for eternity.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Candace Kikkert

Hi there! My name is Candace and I am, first and foremost, a daughter of the King. I am also a wife and mother to two beautiful girls under the age of two. You can often find me perusing the local thrift shop for a chance to reclaim the beauty of things thrown away and forgotten. I like to think that Christ does the same with us, as He looks past our brokenness and calls us beautiful. My hope is that the tedious and seemingly insignificant things like changing diapers, cleaning hands and faces, and preparing meals for my kids (only for them to be hungry again an hour later), will be the very things that show my girls how to be God-fearing, Jesus-loving, people-serving women. I find tremendous peace and joy in reflecting, writing and piecing together the lessons He teaches me daily. The bottom line? We all stand in need of grace.

I Thank God Every Day for These Babies

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

You know that saying, “All of God’s grace in one tiny face”? Growing up, I never understood the meaning behind it. I thought it was overused, cliche even. I mean, of course, babies are adorable, but I never fully grasped the concept of the saying. That is until I became a mother myself. Everyone has a different journey to entering motherhood. Mine, in particular, was unique, to say the least. All my life, I couldn’t wait to have kids of my own. Yes, even when I was a kid myself, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God’s...

Keep Reading

Daddy, Am I Beautiful?

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Daddy holding preschool-aged daughter, color photo

“Daddy, do I look beautiful?” I heard my daughter ask my husband from the other room. I barely heard what she said as I was in the kitchen washing the dishes, but her words struck a chord in my heart. My sweet girl, all dressed to go out, asked for her Daddy’s assurance that she was beautiful, that she was admired and special. It hit me in that moment: this pure and built-in desire we all have to be loved, admired, and wanted. Just as my sweet girl wanted her Daddy’s approval and assurance of love, I so often cry...

Keep Reading

You Make Our Marriage Work and I Love You More than Ever

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband and wife, smiling, selfie, color photo

I used to write love letters to you. I’d sit in my dorm room for hours, penning pages of poems that you’ve apparently kept in a drawer in our bedroom closet ever since. Recently, you mentioned you miss that girl. We laughed because neither of us knew you would turn out to be the sentimental one. And I was thinking, but never said, that the older, more cynical version of me has no idea how to write a love poem anymore. I look at love differently now. I’m different now. We’ve waded through years of never-before-known territory—sometimes treacherous, often mundane,...

Keep Reading

Going to Church with Kids is Hard but We’ll Keep Showing Up

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young daughter in church

Going to church is hard with young kids. It used to be something I looked forward to. It’s something I’ve always valued deeply and needed desperately. It’s the one place that will always be home regardless of what location or building it’s in or what people attend. Church is my sanctuary. But it’s become a battle with the kids’ resistance, my tired mind and body, and my lack of ability to actually listen to the sermon. Going to church is hard with young kids. It’s become normal for me to lie down in bed on Saturday night thinking, with dread,...

Keep Reading

I’m Praying for My Teenager in These Challenging Years

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy holding a smartphone and wearing headphones

In my mid-40s, I began to long for a baby. We didn’t get much encouragement from friends and family. My husband is a high-functioning quadriplegic, and I was considered way too old to start a family. But our marriage was stable, we were used to obstacles, we were financially prepared, emotionally experienced, and our careers were established. I began to paint my own sublime mental portrait of parenting tranquility. What could go wrong? At 48, I delivered a healthy baby boy, and he was perfect. We adored him. The baby we had longed for and prayed for, we had. And...

Keep Reading

When Motherhood Feels Like a Limitation

In: Faith, Motherhood
Ruth Chou Simons holding book

Twenty-one years ago, my husband Troy and I welcomed our first son into the world. Two years later, I gave birth to another boy. And again two years later, and again two years after that. A fifth boy joined our family another two years later, and a final son was born 11 years after we began our parenting journey. If you were counting, you’re not mistaken—that’s six sons in just over a decade. We were overjoyed and more than a little exhausted. I remember feeling frustrated with the limitations of the little years with young children when I was a...

Keep Reading

The Day My Mother Died I Thought My Faith Did Too

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Holding older woman's hand

She left this world with an endless faith while mine became broken and shattered. She taught me to believe in God’s love and his faithfulness. But in losing her, I couldn’t feel it so I believed it to be nonexistent. I felt alone in ways like I’d never known before. I felt helpless and hopeless. I felt like He had abandoned my mother and betrayed me by taking her too soon. He didn’t feel near the brokenhearted. He felt invisible and unreal. The day my mother died I felt alone and faithless while still clinging to her belief of heaven....

Keep Reading

Jesus Meets Me in the Pew

In: Faith
Woman sitting in church pew

I entered the church sanctuary a woman with a hurting and heavy heart. Too many worries on my mind, some unkind words spoken at home, and not enough love wrapped around my shoulders were getting the best of me. What I longed to find was Jesus in a rocking chair, extending His arms to me, welcoming me into his lap, and inviting me to exhaust myself into Him. I sought out an empty pew where I could hide in anonymity, where I could read my bulletin if I didn’t feel like listening to the announcements, sing if I felt up...

Keep Reading

Can I Still Trust Jesus after Losing My Child?

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Sad woman with hands on face

Everyone knows there is a time to be born and a time to die. We expect both of those unavoidable events in our lives, but we don’t expect them to come just 1342 days apart. For my baby daughter, cancer decided that the number of her days would be so many fewer than the hopeful expectation my heart held as her mama. I had dreams that began the moment the two pink lines faintly appeared on the early morning pregnancy test. I had hopes that grew with every sneak peek provided during my many routine ultrasounds. I had formed a...

Keep Reading

5 Kids in the Bible Who Will Inspire Yours

In: Faith, Kids
Little girl reading from Bible

Gathering my kids for morning Bible study has become our family’s cornerstone, a time not just for spiritual growth but for real, hearty conversations about life, courage, and making a difference. It’s not perfect, but it’s ours. My oldest, who’s 11, is at that age where he’s just beginning to understand the weight of his actions and decisions. He’s eager, yet unsure, about his ability to influence his world. It’s a big deal for him, and frankly, for me too. I want him to know, deeply know, that his choices matter, that he can be a force for good, just...

Keep Reading