So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

We spent the morning sitting poolside for swim lessons. 

Flies swirled around us in an attempt to infiltrate the cardboard Dunkin’ Donuts box we had brought along. The humidity crept up as the sun inched higher in the sky. 

I stared listlessly at my phone. 

I knew I should be engaged in conversation with either of the two children who were stretched out on the lawn chairs beside me while their sibling splashed in the pool. But even the thought of it seemed exhausting after the rush to get children out the door that morning.

Suddenly, the laundry list of summer activities I had yet to do with my children began to unfurl itself in the back of my mind, and my anxiety began to balloon. It usually does when I disengage from deep thought, accidentally giving worry the inch it needs to creep in.

I haven’t practiced any bit of school with them in the last four weeks. We have only gone for a proper swim once this summer. We haven’t done any crafting. We’ve hardly caught any fireflies. 

It’s been about what I can barely tolerate when it comes to being with my children this summer. 

I always qualify the statement that I’m sick of being at home with my children with how wonderful I truly think they are. It must precede every jaded and tired observation I share with whomever I’m venting to that my children are not the problem because if I don’t, it means piling guilt on top of anxiety.

If anything, at their worst, they are simply being children.

They can be octopus-armed, pleasure-fueled machines, who almost every day cover my floors in raisin boxes and shredded toilet paper. They want this or that. They’re bored. They’re arguing over something ridiculous. They’re just being children in the heat of summer with no routine in sight.

Right now? There is no room for that. There is no room for nurturing them through their flaws and shortcomings. There is no room for gentle leading. There’s no overflow spilled down from their mother.

My capabilities are thus, please allow me to feed you, but please do not ask me to break up sibling squabbles. Please don’t say the cut up chicken in front of you is spicy when it isn’t. Please don’t ask me to drive you all over creation. Please, for the love, peel your own swimsuit off, and don’t squirm when I slather you in sunscreen. 

Don’t make this any harder than it has to be.

When I’m not chiding them for being ridiculous, I’m chiding myself for being the woman who cannot hack it. 

I’m the woman who should be sitting on the floor with them, playing Domino’s. 

I’m the woman whose laundry should be folded. 

I’m the woman ignoring the froths of black dog hair on her floors, sticky syrup spots on her countertops, and quarter-inch of dust on her bookshelves. 

I should be enjoying these golden years, but my time with my kids is best spent breathing through these interactions like I’m breathing through labor pains. Breathe in the ridiculous backtalk and whining, breathe out something that won’t send my kids to the psychiatrist one day. 

I’m currently the woman who would go absolutely bonkers over a spilled cup of milk. Try not to be envious.

I’ve sought peace, though probably not as much as I should. For a while, I waited for God to see me through this season as breezily as a tour guide leads tourists through an attraction. 

“And here we have despair and impatience, but up ahead we can see the days miraculously get better.”

It wasn’t until God kept handing me a word, “through” that I realized I may be stuck here for the foreseeable future as He rearranges the furnishings—and also me. As He shows me the way I should have been operating for the past almost-33 years. 

Today, though, as I fought to slip one child’s clammy noodle arms out of their swimsuit, and grim thoughts batted my head the way the persistent flies were, I fought back, in the smallest way.

Or, rather, God threw me a breadcrumb as He is wont to do.

He reminds us gently that He knows precisely where we are when we forget that He could never forget us. 

He reminded me that though this season is difficult, it doesn’t make me a bad mother. 

Seasons of difficulty can last for months. Even years at a time. I could tell you a lot about the ugliness of this season. The bitter byproducts of the winter of motherhood. Where our children are left to contend with whatever the cold and freeze hasn’t taken. Where not only is there no growth, the earth is entirely folded in on itself.

God reminded me that though this season is long, unforgiving and tedious, it is not the future. It is not permanent. It is simply that hard.

Because God takes the whole not the lumps and pieces that we see and live in every day. He takes the whole because He IS the whole and He makes us whole, even when we are broken. Even when we can’t see past the horizon.

We don’t always grow up accounting for how we are going to thrive when the clouds shut up the sun. For when life becomes breathtakingly difficult.

But already encased in this frozen tundra is hope, spread beneath the surface. Waiting for its time. Plants are nothing if not persistent. They just wait for the sun to return.

Motherhood is the most common of miracles. And yet, we take it for granted. I used to people watch in the grocery store. I would observe the woman with children hanging off the side of her cart. I never considered her, she was merely a staple. The woman hurrying from one place to another. There is always a mother trapped in the torrent of busy life with children, somewhere. We are everywhere.

Now, though, that I am a mother, the curtain has been pulled back—actually, it’s been decimated. I live in the narrative of always seeming to try very, very hard and usually failing at something.

There is no way to know how hard motherhood is until you’re in the very thickest parts. And with each new season and milestone in our children’s lives comes new challenges and hurdles. Hills and valleys. Mountains and plains.

The landscape is not linear, especially the landscape hidden within our own hearts.We can’t think the journey a failure just because it is hard. That is the nature of journeys.

In a difficult season, where worrying is as easy as breathing air, defeat feels as close and natural as the clothes we wear, where we feel like we will snap like a twig from anxiety, we need to let hope be the thing that breaks us.

It can hard to hope. It can even be painful. But it is hope that can crack and shatter us into a thousand shards that get planted deep.

And it is hope that waits for the sun to return.

Ashley LeCompte

Save for a brief sojourn to California, Ashley has always called the rural cornfields and bay waterways of Maryland her home. She loves Jesus, coffee and donuts. She’s married to a former Marine, and one heck of a guy who puts up with her snoring. She is mom to her three beautiful and wild children. You can normally find her eating frosting straight out of the can and buying the same shirt in three colors when she isn’t writing or practicing her photography skills.

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

10 Tips to Banish Teenage FOMO

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen with red hair smiling

Do you ever feel like the whole world is having a party—and you weren’t invited Maybe you worry about being included in the right groups or invited to the right sleepovers. Maybe you envy the relationships you see at school or youth group or feel jealous of the perfect social media posts showing others making memories together. If you’re a teen in 2022, you’re probably well acquainted with the fear of missing out. Knowing or wondering what you’re missing or who is getting together without you can leave you feeling lonely. It can leave you lonely and a little blue....

Keep Reading

I’m So Thankful For This Little Family

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Toddler boy and infant girl, color photo

I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, and praying for a life like I have now. Praying for a man to love me, to be loyal to me, to want a family with me, to provide for me, to show me what stability felt like and what it felt like to not ever have to worry . . . and here he is right in front of me. I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, praying for a house I could make a home and raise my family in. Here it is right in front of me. But most of...

Keep Reading

How I Like My Coffee

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter drink coffee

I like my coffee with hazelnut creamer and a dash of almond milk. I like my coffee cold and neglected on the countertop because I’m busy soothing my new baby boy, the one who has made me a mother. In my long robe and slippers, I pace the kitchen floor and hold my swaddled son close to my heart. When his fussing grows quiet, I can hear the ticking of the big clock in the den. The dawn slowly reveals itself, brightening the kitchen in increments. It’s hard to imagine keeping my eyes open until he’s ready to nap again....

Keep Reading

Compassion Holds My Heart

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Child hugging mother

I lean my head in through the window of his van. The first thing I notice is the funny smell. Like cigarettes. And maybe body odor. The second? His tired, wrinkle-lined eyes. They’re dull, lethargic even. My daughter scrunches up her nose. I give her that look and try to hide my own misgivings. But Compassion climbs in the car with me.  And as the taxi driver guides the car toward our destination, I ask him about his story. Turns out he’s been driving all night. Till 5:30 this morning. Taking people home who were too drunk to drive themselves....

Keep Reading

I Was the Girl Who Ran Away From God

In: Faith
Woman standing in grass, black-and-white photo

I was the girl. I was the girl who’d do anything to get high as a teenager. I was the girl who craved love and just wanted to be wanted. I was the girl who wasn’t afraid of anything. I was the girl who stopped believing there was a God. I was the girl who said I would never go back to church. I was the girl who was certain none of it was real anyway because I was wasting my time going places like that. I was the girl who let the heartache and disappointment of this old world...

Keep Reading

I Prayed for You Before I Knew You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, color photo

Baby, I have prayed for you—even before I knew who you would be.  I prayed I would be a mom one day when I was too little to know what I was praying for and again when I really thought my body would not be able to carry a baby. I prayed for you.  I prayed every day as you grew in my belly that you would be healthy, happy, and strong.  I prayed at every doctor’s appointment and scan that I would hear your heartbeat loud and strong.  I prayed for your arrival—for you to be safe and for...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, I Miss You

In: Faith, Grief
Grown woman and her mother, color photo

Dear Mom, Yesterday I went over to your house. I was hoping you would open the door, but Daddy greeted me with his sweet smile. Yes, he still has a mustache. The one you hate, but I did manage to trim it up for him. I cut his hair too.   We talked about you over coffee and waited for you to join us, but you never did. He’s doing his best to do this life without you in it, but his eyes are clouded with memories and mixed with pain. He misses you, Momma. RELATED: I Didn’t Just Lose...

Keep Reading

Spaghetti Sauce Faith

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Mother and little girl holding a bowl of spaghetti, color photo

It was Sunday afternoon, and I was loading my grocery cart higher than I ever had in my life. My husband and I, along with our two kids under two years old, had been living with his parents for three months. We moved from our Florida home to look for a house in Georgia, and they graciously took us in. This was the day I loaded up on groceries—filling an empty refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. My shopping list was all the things. I needed to buy the smallest of table ingredients like salt and garlic powder to the big things...

Keep Reading

Dear Introverted Mom, Take that Break

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman outside with book and food

I am alone, in a hotel room, 20 minutes from home, lying back in the crisp bed, feet propped up on billowing white pillows. A good book is in my hand. The large window beside me overlooks the Mississippi River as the sun slowly sets and people unwind for a southern Louisiana evening in downtown Baton Rouge. I’ll probably order room service for dinner. I spent the afternoon at the coffee shop across the street, sipping on a deliciously caffeinated beverage carefully made to my liking. I ate a delicate snack filled with fruits, fancy lettuce, and expensive cheese while...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!


Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime