Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Remember that scene at the end of The Princess Diaries when Mia, played by a teenage Anne Hathaway, receives her first kiss from Michael, her friend-turned-crush? The stars twinkle, her gown shimmers, and the moment they kiss, her foot pops, just like she’s always dreamed. I used to sigh into my pillow at night thinking about how that was true love, and how unlikely I was to ever find it.

Oh, the woes of being 13.

Then, The Princess Diaries 2 came out and in one tidy narration, adorable Michael was explained away as nothing more than a fun fling as Mia followed her destiny overseas.

What seemed like the perfect example of love was ultimately two people driven by their own interests and desires. If that was true love, then my future was in serious trouble.

I’m not saying people who break-up are selfish monsters. Not in the slightest. My older brother once told me (amidst my own teenage grief after a breakup) that he didn’t view breakups as failures. “They’re just a way of finding out that person’s not the one you should marry,” he said. Smart.

So then how do I find out if someone is “the one?” I thought.

The most unlikely person provided the answer. It was my sophomore English teacher, a six foot five man who wore the same trousers, white button-up shirt and suspenders each day to class. He was as strict as he was smart and made students carry a toilet bowl ring as a hall pass to dissuade them from cutting class.

One day, between Latin root conjugations and English grammar, my teacher dove into a tangent about teenage dating and how skewed the world’s perception of true love has become.

“You know it’s really true love,” he said, “when you’re willing to wipe your spouse’s butt.”

He didn’t laugh. No one did. As our room full of pimply, hormonal, and now, mortified 16-year-olds stared at our teacher, he elaborated. I didn’t write it down since I fit that previous description, so I’ll paraphrase.

If you’re willing to stay with someone after he’s crippled, and even wipe his butt, then that’s real love. Not starry nights and foot-popping kisses. It comes down to the root of the relationship. It can’t just be a “me first” thing.

It’s like when my dad taught me to drive his pickup truck. When it was time to turn, he said I had to think about the back half of the truck as I steered the front. Sure enough, when I swung wide and steered the bed of the truck into a parking spot, the whole vehicle aligned just right.

So it is with love. (Yes, I really just used a truck metaphor to describe love…) When I started dating my husband, I asked myself if I wanted what was best for this man. I won’t say it just came easily. As we approached marriage, I looked at each decision, each day, and used that same thought process my dad used on our truck. Have I considered how this will help him grow to be the man God wants him to be?

I get how non-feminist this all sounds. But actually, it’s one of the most empowering experiences I’ve ever felt as a woman. You see, when you’re holding yourself to that standard of selfless love, as imperfect as it may be, you hold out until you find someone with the same caliber of commitment as you.

So it began with us nearly a decade ago.

When my husband compliments me on something I published or tells me what a great job I’m doing as a mom, I fly to the moon and back. My love tank fills up like those scream tanks after the little toddler bursts into laughter in Monsters, Inc. And as a result, it inspires me to reciprocate the act—to tell him how much I appreciate his hard work and how much I respect him.

And yeah, if he became paralyzed in an accident or experiences a severe stroke later in life, you can bet I’d be there to wipe my husband, to feed him, to take him wherever he wanted to go, and to make sure he knew, every day, that he is loved.

Call me a blind optimist, but I fully believe he’d do the same for me. I know it. And without the gross, descriptive visual, my kids know it too. I didn’t tell them the butt-wiping example yet out of some attempt to spare their fragile minds. No way. If I said something about wiping daddy’s bottom, they’d cackle every moment of the day and shout it out to every stranger they’d meet.

Nah. I’ll wait until they’re teenagers. Bring the mortification full circle, I say.

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

Laura Harris

Laura Harris is a Christian writer, wife, and mother of three rambunctious cherubs. She is passionate about faith, family, finance, and Star Wars. She has been featured on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and Equipping Godly Women. When she’s not on an adventure with her family, you can find her encouraging Christian work-at-home moms on Facebook or blogging about faith and motherhood at http://www.lauraharriswrites.com/

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading