Lately my two-year-old, Emily has developed a paralyzing fear of monsters. We’ve prayed about it, we’ve talked about it and we’ve watched this awesome video about it at least 700 times (thanks Alison). But you know what’s helped her the most? Every night before Emily goes to bed, she looks up at me and says, “Mom, in OUR house there are NO monsters.” Stating the truth out loud helps her to believe it.

Sometimes as a Christian mom, I feel this weird pressure to “be okay;” to thank God in every moment and to somehow prove that I am walking in the Spirit and drawing from His strength. I’m not making fun of these statements. Every morning, I cast myself, my kids and my cares on Jesus. I live in the truth that my relationship with Him is the well from which I draw meaning in motherhood and in life. In the Bible, Paul (whose words encourage me in motherhood despite the fact that he wasn’t that gung ho about the whole marriage deal) knew that people instinctively want to appear fine. He made this bold statement: But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ.

In Emily’s words, “In our house, there are no monsters.” Speaking truth is an essential step for growth in Christ and in life and it’s exactly what I want to model for my kids.

So here’s mine. I am a person who is deeply affected by everything outside of myself. This can be annoying. I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which means that when winter is too long (oh hi, Canada), I find it hard to do normal things like getting out of bed or completing tasks. Then spring arrives and suddenly I am a fully functioning human again. I combat the heavy oppressive blanket of BLAH by getting enough sleep, talking about it, getting outside, choosing my winter, eating as healthily as I can and exercising but it doesn’t make it go away.

Every year in spring, something unclenches inside me and all of the energy I’ve been expending to exist normally just eases and I can channel it into life again. I can just BE me without having to work at it. If you’ve struggled with depression or anxiety, you know exactly what I’m talking about and if you haven’t, then none of this makes any sense. Take a minute, look at these cartoons, then come back. Because I have these tendencies, when I got pregnant I read everything I could on postpartum depression. My hormones or chemicals already fail me on a yearly basis so I felt like this was something I would be highly susceptible to experiencing. I was prepared. And it didn’t happen.

Fast-forward a year through the hormonal whirlwind that is being pregnant, becoming a mom, weaning, and getting pregnant again. After having Emily, I sort of relaxed and thought, “Hey, my body’s got this! I miscarried in the fall of 2014 and along with the grief of loss came fear. I had just gone back to work after maternity leave and I had a timeline of when we would have another child firmly in my mind. I was full-steam-ahead controlling my life… in my mind. After our miscarriage, we got pregnant again almost immediately so in October of 2014, I was expecting Gabrielle and afraid.

This pregnancy was so different than my experience with Emily. I was sick, I was tired and my husband was away a lot for work while I was exhausted and miserable at home, working and looking after a non-stop exuberant toddler. None of these things were harder than what anyone else does but they were still true and I was afraid. I was anxious all the time and after Gabrielle was born in July, I felt a flood of relief. She was okay. She was more than okay, she was healthy and loud and perfect. I was okay. The physical recovery after delivery was so much better than the first round, it was summer outside and I could finally stop holding my breath and exhale.

But the fear and anxiety that crept up during pregnancy never really let go. I didn’t feel sad but everything started to seem overwhelming. I became angry and anxious and if you asked the people closest to me, there might be another “a” word that isn’t so flattering. I prayed about it. I claimed every truth I know and believe about it. I exercised about it. I ate better and tried to sleep more about it but the anxiety is still here.

I have everything I need BUT…

  • I feel like I am constantly in coping mode and everything is an overwhelming crisis. Laundry. Those dishes on the table that need to be moved to the sink. Appointments. Missed toddler naptimes.
  • Rage.
  • Anxiety.

All the great things I’ve been doing aren’t fixing it and I’ve struggled to come to terms with the fact that something is going on in me that I can’t control. Naming and facing my own postpartum anxiety feels terrifying. In fact, I don’t even want you to know about it because in three months when sun is back to stay and I’m done breastfeeding and I’m loving life, why would I share this season with you in a permanent and “non-takesy-backsies” internet-flashing way? Especially when next week I’m going to be writing about hilarity and the ridiculousness of mom life and it will also and simultaneously be TRUE?

Because in our house, there are no monsters.

Because speaking truth out loud is the first step to being okay.

Because maybe because you’re there too.

Because we can refuse to buy into the lie of pretending to be okay and step forward in freedom into His love which is big and perfect and enough for us to not be.


If anything I’ve shared resonates with you, here are some honest and incredible ladies sharing about not being okay and saying it about a million times better. 

Jessica: The Moment I Finally Became a Momma Bear   

Glennon Doyle Melton: The Erasing 

Sarah Bessey: In which depression is not your fault   

Emily Fisk: It Gets Easier  

Jamie the Very Worst Missionary: Jesus or Zoloft?  

Ashlie: My Struggle with Postpartum Depression


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

Abbie Ginther

Abbie’s a child of God saved by His grace. She’s also a wife, mama and a retired (freedom 35?) high school French and English teacher. In this season at home with her two littles, she’s blogging about faith, fails and mom life from Saskatoon, Canada. She tries to find the humor amid the Huggies and wisdom in the whining, but so far hasn’t developed any love for the laundry. Join in the fun and discover an honest and encouraging community of mamas at her blog and on Facebook,

God Redeemed the Broken Parts of My Infertility Story

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two young children walking on a path near a pond, color photo

It was a Wednesday morning when I sat around a table with a group of mamas I had just recently met. My youngest daughter slept her morning nap in a carrier across my chest. Those of us in the group who held floppy babies swayed back and forth. The others had children in childcare or enrolled in preschool down the road. We were there to chat, learn, grow, and laugh. We were all mamas. But we were not all the same. I didn’t know one of the mom’s names, but I knew I wanted to get to know her because she...

Keep Reading

God Has You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman hugging herself while looking to the side

Holding tight to the cold, sterile rail of the narrow, rollaway ER bed, I hovered helplessly over my oldest daughter. My anxious eyes bounced from her now steadying breaths to the varying lines and tones of the monitor overhead. Audible reminders of her life that may have just been spared. For 14 years, we’d been told anaphylaxis was possible if she ingested peanuts. But it wasn’t until this recent late autumn evening we would experience the fear and frenzy of our apparent new reality. My frantic heart hadn’t stopped racing from the very moment she struggled to catch a breath....

Keep Reading

My Husband Having a Stroke at 30 Wasn’t in Our Plans

In: Faith, Living
Husband and wife, selfie, color photo

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) This verse in the book of Jeremiah has long been a favorite of mine. In fact, it’s felt relevant across many life events. Its simple, yet powerful reminder has been a place of solace, perhaps even a way to maintain equilibrium when I’ve felt my world spinning a bit out of control. In this season of starting fresh and new year intentions, I find great comfort in knowing...

Keep Reading

She Left Him on Valentine’s Day

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband kissing wife on cheek, color photo

“Can you believe that?” Those were the dreaded knife-cutting whispers I heard from across the table. I sunk deeper into my chair. My hopes fell as everyone would forever remember that I had left my fiancée on Valentine’s Day. Maybe one day it would just dissipate like the dream wedding I had planned or the canceled plane tickets for the Hawaiian honeymoon. Some bridesmaids and guests had already booked plane tickets. It was my own nightmare that kept replaying in my head over and over again. I had messed up. Big time. To be honest, if it made any difference,...

Keep Reading

God was In the Room for Our Daughter’s Open Heart Surgery

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child's hand with IV

I’ve had a strong faith for as long as I can remember, but I always felt bad that I never had a “testimony.” I had never gone through something that made me sit back and say, “Wow, God is real, He is here.” I have always felt it to my core, but no moment had ever stopped me dead in my tracks to where there was no denying that it was God. And then, that moment happened to me on December 5. After five months of fervently praying for a miracle for our daughter, the day came for her heart...

Keep Reading

A Benediction for the Worn Out Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman leaning against kitchen counter, black-and-white photo

Blessed are you, Father, for bestowing upon me the honor of motherhood. For allowing me to experience the deep joy of bringing forth life—a joy I often take for granted and instead choose to begrudge. My children’s cries and demands have worn me down. I do not recognize myself. I selfishly long for the old me. My thoughts are an intangible mess of never-ending tasks, self-criticism, and comparison to those around me. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama But Your word says you are near to the broken-hearted and downtrodden. You do not forget the cause of the tired and the...

Keep Reading

God Doesn’t Forget You When You’re Lost and Unsure

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking into camera, color photo

I’ve been wandering around feeling lost for over a year. Wondering where I’m going, what I’m supposed to be doing. Nothing seems to make sense. I felt purposeless. I felt stuck. I questioned everything: my faith, my marriage, my career—if it could be questioned, I doubted it. And I was completely clueless how to fix the funk. For over a year, I’ve been in the wilderness. I’ve wanted to find my way, but every path seemed like another dead end. The wilderness. I’ve been residing there. Not feeling fed. Not feeling heard. Not feeling seen. Struggling to find a purpose....

Keep Reading

And Then, the Darkness Lifts

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother with baby smiling

Today when I woke, it had lifted, like sunshine peeking after rain. And as my toddler clicked on the lamp beside my bed to see her mama, I saw me too. I got out of bed and I walked down the hall. And the coffee pot sat there waiting for me, as always, like my husband at the kitchen table with his books. He smiled at me, and I think he could tell as I took my medicine, took down a mug, and poured my coffee. I opened the secretary desk and pulled out the chair and my Bible, like...

Keep Reading

Joy in This Stillness

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding sleeping toddler, color photo

I woke up suddenly in a sweat while it was still dark. Except for the humming of the oxygen machine, the house was silent. For a moment, I thought I might have time to enjoy a cup of coffee before my son woke up. However, a glance at my daughter’s crib told me that feeding my caffeine addiction would have to wait. My daughter has a terminal brain disorder called Lissencephaly, a side effect of which is uncontrolled epilepsy. Many mornings, a subconscious recognition that she is having episodes of repeated seizures rouses me from my sleep. Throwing on a...

Keep Reading

Sometimes All We Can Do Is Say How Hard Motherhood Is

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom with baby in foreground

I have been sitting in the peace and quiet of the office to do some long overdue Bible study for all of five minutes when the baby wakes up. With a heavy sigh that is becoming all too common, I go to the bedroom to pick up my fussy, probably getting sick, 8-month-old daughter who has been asleep for approximately 15 minutes. I bring her to the office and put her on the floor with some new books and toys. Sitting back down in front of my own new book of Bible maps and charts, I begin reading once again....

Keep Reading