Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

There is something about a fistful of dandelions. The way my kids’ little hands wrap around the brightly-colored bouquets of so-called flowers. Their faces shine with pride as they hold them up to me. Smiles beam as they declare, “I picked them for you, Mama.”

For a moment, I think, This is why I do it and this is enough to get me through the tough times. I stick them in a vase only to find that the next day, they are not as bright. Their outer sunshine-induced glow has dimmed, becoming a sickly brownish-green. Their stems droop alongside the outer curve of the vase, carving a path for their weary heads to finally rest upon the kitchen counter. They no longer seem like enough. 

I rest my weary dandelion head on the kitchen counter. I feel I am not enough. 

RELATED: Moms Are Strong Enough To Carry the Mental Load But Sometimes We Need To Set it Down

There is something about a fistful of dandelions. Something that keeps drawing me back. I know what they truly are compared to what they appear to be, and yet I want them. After every tantrum, every swing, kick, and “Stupid Mama!” I want them. Because in that moment, they are enough. I am enough.  

Dandelions are edible and have medicinal uses. They may not have the reputation of a rose or the luscious scent of a lily, but they serve a purpose. They are wild, come back year after year, and never worry themselves about their surroundings. 

My 4-year-old son, John, loves to pee outside. Routinely we hear the predictable phrase, “I gotta go pee!” yelled throughout the house followed by thumping feet and the unlocking of our front door. He stands on the edge of our front patio, drops his pants, and then I see his little butt checks squeeze. His hips begin to sway as he shoots the stream of urine wildly back and forth, watering the yard.

There is literally a John pee spot: a dead, dry and yellow patch in the grass. He’ll pull his pants up, take in a deep breath of fresh air, and turn around to jet back inside. Only sometimes he yells, “Wait!” and stops suddenly in his tracks. 

RELATED: God Smiled the Day He Built the Wild Child

When John spots a dandelion “puffball,” the seeds beckon him to blow so they can spread and commit to their destiny. He runs quickly toward one in the middle of the yard, his bare feet jumping over his pee spot.

He yanks on the stem smiling back at me, “I’m going to make a wish!”

He blows several short puffs of air and the seeds depart, spreading all around the yard. Some stick to the stem. John shakes it, grabs the remaining clump of seeds off with his hand, and throws them in the grass. I hope I can make his dream come true. I pray like the spreading seeds, I can fulfill my destiny, and help to nourish his. 

I believe dandelions are the mother of all flowers. Like dandelions, we mothers provide food, we can heal, we glow in the sunlight, and sway in the breeze. We get tired, wilt, and rest our heavy heads. We keep coming back to continue on despite what is happening around us. 

RELATED: Why Tired Moms Stay Up Late

According to Anita Sanchez, author of The Teeth of the Lion—The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion, “Dandelions are masters of survival.”

There is a reason kids pick these flowers for their moms. We are the dandelions. We bring joy, familiarity, and peace. We are the masters of survival.

Just when you think I couldn’t have taken this dandelion analogy any further, think about how dandelions are rarely by themselves. So often, there are a few together or better yet a whole field full. There are hardly any loner dandelions. No one can survive alone, or at least do it well. We must hold our dandelion heads up for one another if we are to make it through.

If anything survives 2020, it’ll be the dandelions. 

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

Kayleen Terrell

Kayleen Terrell lives in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest with her husband and two kids. She’s an elementary school teacher, writer, lover of coffee, wine, and all things Parisian. Kayleen believes that motherhood requires a little grace and hopes to humor, support, and encourage with her writing. You’ll find her blog at and on Instagram @kayleenterrell

There’s So Much I Didn’t Know About Having a Daughter

In: Motherhood
Mother and daughter hug

I started my motherhood journey as a boy mom. I knew the names of all the construction trucks, I could build a LEGO set in record time, and nothing said about a penis could ever shock me. I could play in the dirt, tie on a Superman cape, and have a lightsaber fight all before naptime. But when I was expecting again, I saw that sweet little face on the ultrasound, and I knew—even before the ultrasound tech made the announcement—that my days as solely a boy mom were about to come to an end. I was so excited to...

Keep Reading

Exclusively Pumping Makes You One Strong Mother

In: Motherhood
Breast pump with bottles, black-and-white photo

Dear exclusively pumping mama,  Oh, how I see you, sweet mama. (I’ve been you—twice now, as a matter of fact.)  I see you frustrated with your body and feeling like it’s failed you because you’re not able to nurse your baby. Maybe your baby is in the NICU and you feel robbed of this experience. Or maybe, due to other circumstances, you haven’t been able to make it work.  RELATED: I Exclusively Pumped for a Year—And My Baby and I Thrived I see you tirelessly getting up before the baby does in the middle of the night so you can...

Keep Reading

Yes, We Wanted a Big Family

In: Kids, Motherhood
Big family silhouette

Baby number WHAT?!?! Okay, okay, I know having FIVE children in the modern world is a bit of an anomaly, but the responses we have gotten from sharing our joyful (to us!) news has been a bit over-the-top. You see, my husband and I always dreamt of a big family, verbally expressing four to five children as our ultimate number. After having three, I must say I had to do some convincing to keep going, as my husband felt our hands were pretty full. I do agree our hands were pretty full, but I still felt our hearts could handle...

Keep Reading

How Much Longer Will I Watch Them Play?

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Two boys at indoor playground, color photo

As I sit here watching my two boys running around on the bright-colored foam mats, sliding down the bright red and green slides that end up in a ball pit full of giggles, I can’t help but wonder how much longer I will enjoy this sight. They’re both growing up so fast—T-shirts with their favorite characters have been replaced by plain colors.  Curtains with Paw Patrol now invite an “Eww, cringe!” reaction. Slowly their boy bedroom decor has been updated to reflect the cool gamers they so want to be. RELATED: He’s a Boy For Just a Little While Longer No...

Keep Reading

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

I Don’t Belong In the Baby Section Anymore

In: Motherhood

I don’t belong here anymore. The thought crept into my mind today as I stood in the baby section. I was there to grab a gift for an expecting friend, but as I looked around at the old familiar shelves, I was hit with a wave of emotion.  Because it’s true—I don’t belong here anymore. There was a time when this aisle was my most frequented on trips to Target. As a pregnant twentysomething with a growing belly, I would hold up outfit after outfit and wonder what our baby would look like. Who would he or she be? As...

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

Loving Mom (Thanks, Amazon)

In: Grief, Living, Motherhood
Woman and mother smiling, color photo

I was online, searching old Amazon orders for a part we’d bought for our 1998 Buick Regal. The car was Mom’s. She’d given it up at 86 after I said her grandsons would be grateful to use it. She’d laughed with delight as Gabe, newly licensed, pulled away from her place in her Buick, heading home to California. It was a good car, but the original parts were wearing out. That’s why I scrolled through my orders, to see which window pulley assembly we’d purchased last time. As I scrolled, I was struck by all the gifts I’d ordered for...

Keep Reading

Supporting Your Teen through Freshman Year

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom and teen boy

Growing up I remember seeing Ms. Honey in the movie Matilda and thinking teaching must be a magical job if Ms. Honey could do it so effortlessly. This image of dancing with my students, heart-to-heart conversations, and the perfectly curated teacher outfit always stuck in my mind. When I decided to become a teacher, my original goal was to teach elementary. I wanted to be that driving force that helped those pudgy little hands learn how to write, sing at the top of their lungs about the seasons, and be there to help with scraped knees. Over the years I...

Keep Reading

Donna Kelce Is Living the Boy Mom Dream: Her Two Sons Will Face Off in the NFL’s Biggest Game

In: Living, Motherhood
Donna Kelce in split Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs jersey

How many millions of brothers have grown up playing football against each other in their backyards? It’s impossible to know, really—but if you had brothers or are raising boys, you’ve probably seen a few of those pick-up games yourself.  Sometimes, the little boys tossing around the pigskin grow up to realize the dream of playing in the NFL. In Donna Kelce’s case, that dream became a reality times two: son Jason Kelce plays center for the Philadelphia Eagles, and son Travis Kelce is a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs. And in two weeks time, those two teams—and Donna’s...

Keep Reading