So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

I grew up surrounded by my cousins. I have a ton of them—I have 30+ just on one side. So there were always kids of every age around, and there was always someone to play with. Several of my aunts and uncles lived close, so we got together a lot. We weren’t just a part of each other’s lives during the holidays, we were a part of each other’s weekly and daily lives.

And let me tell you, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

We went to each other’s houses frequently, shared time at Grandma and Grandpa’s, some of us went to school together, there were birthdays, sleepovers, religious milestones, of course, holidays, sporting events, and putting corn, applesauce, and meat in the freezer. There was always something and we looked for any excuse to get together.

I always waited with great anticipation for those get-togethers and I know all my cousins did, too. The question was always, “Who is all going to be there?!” We always wanted to know if some of our favorite cousins were going to be there. We all kind of had our own little groups of the ones we would play with the most, usually the ones close to our own age. But when it came down to it, we would play with about anyone. We all loved each other and loved being together.

I think I can speak for most of my cousins when I say that our most favorite thing was playing hide-and-seek at Grandpa and Grandma’s farm after dark. Everyone played. The cement cow by the yard light was always base. We would have played that forever if we could. I still would to this day if I had the chance! When a cousin got hurt, we did everything in our power to keep him from going inside and speaking of it. We didn’t want our parents to ruin the fun and end it all.

We knew how to create fun and entertainment no matter where we were.

We played hard, laughed harder, got in trouble together, and we dreaded the time when our parents would tell us it was time to go home. A lifetime of memories was created in such a short time. The years went by way too fast and we grew up way too fast. The memories of our times together will stand the test of time. And at the time, we thought we were just having fun.

Growing up with cousins is growing up with friends for life. You shared a moment in time, you shared an upbringing, a childhood, you shared something special that you won’t ever share with anyone else. And you are forever tied to them because they are family. It is a deep-rooted bond that is truly hard to fully explain or give its full credit.

Life will toss you around, drag you through the mud, hold you up high and throw you down. But through it all, cousins will still have your back and be there if you need them. They will care when no one else does because they have a special place for you in their hearts.

I am so thankful for being able to grow up with my cousins. They were and still are some of my best friends.

I have several cousins I still talk to on a regular basis. We don’t get to see each other that often, but we still try to remain a part of each other’s lives. I cherish their friendship. They know me better than anybody else because they have known me since day one. I can be myself around them with my guard completely down. I can say about anything without fear of judgment and we can talk about anything. I tell them things I would never tell anyone else. They know the true me, flaws and all, and they love me anyway.

My cousins and I still get together but the times are fewer and farther between. Everyone still makes the effort, however, because we still want to get together and catch up. The funny thing with cousins is you can walk right up to them and start talking like you never missed a day.

We are quite a bit older now; most are married and most have kids running around. We have moved on to a new stage in life but the memories and bonds of our younger years still remain. And new memories are now being made with one another in this new season. But nothing beats the reminiscing and laughs when the topic shifts to, “Remember the time . . . ”

I will always remember the time I grew up with my best friends. And that is a time I will cherish forever.

“A cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.” Marion C. Garretty

You may also like:

Raising Our Kids Near Their Cousins is the Greatest Gift We Could Ever Give Them

Raising Our Kids Near Their Grandparents is the Greatest Gift We Could Ever Give Them

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 now!

Order Now

Melinda Tietsort

Melinda is a married, mother of three girls. She works as a Physical Therapist Assistant, lives in rural Northwest Iowa and enjoys the farm life. She is a Christian and is trying to live the life God intends for her. She offers Christian encouragement and inspiration to others on her blog, "Pursuing a Christ-Centered Life." Follow it at:

It Hurts Seeing My Kid as a B-List Friend

In: Friendship, Kids, Teen
Teen girl sitting alone on a dock

Kids everywhere are celebrating, or will be celebrating soon. They will be playing outside, enjoying warm summer days, bike rides with friends, and maybe even sleepovers. It’s summer—it’s fun, right? Sure, it is. And sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it isn’t fun for the kids you least expect it from. We have that issue, and I knew it was building for the past few weeks with our teenage daughter. She was moody (moodier than normal). Short tempered. Obviously frustrated, but not ready to talk about it. But it was when she came home on the last day of school, in tears,...

Keep Reading

Extroverted Moms Are Lonely Too

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Little girl kissing mother outside

I became a mom six years ago. Since the beginning of my motherhood journey, everyone mentioned the importance of finding a village and creating relationships. I was told how lonely motherhood could be at times and that searching for the right people to grow as a parent would be beneficial. What nobody prepared me for was the lack of extroverted mothers out there. I have always considered myself friendly and outgoing. Even though I really make time for my self-care and alone time, being surrounded by others and having conversations and days out is crucial for me. Part of my...

Keep Reading

The Power of One Friend Who Gets You

In: Friendship, Living
Handwritten note from BFF, color photo

When I was 10, my biggest concern in life was making the soccer team. My best friend Joie’s was saving the environment. When I was 15, I spent sleepless nights wondering if my new crush would ask me to the school dance. And Joie . . . well, she would spend sleepless nights telling me about the inequitable state of our society. When I was 22, I was knee-deep in my first career with my sights set on conquering the world of journalism. Joie joined the Peace Corps and boarded a plane to Namibia, Africa—her sights set on changing the...

Keep Reading

This Is How to Show Up for a Friend Who Has Cancer

In: Cancer, Friendship, Living
Bald woman during cancer treatments and same woman in remission, color photo

One moment I was wrestling with my toddler and rocking my 3-month-old to sleep, and the next I was staring blankly at the doctor who just told me I had stage four cancer that had metastasized from my uterus to my left lung and spleen. “Well, I didn’t see that coming,” I smiled at the young doctor who had clearly never given this kind of news to anyone before. I looked over at my husband’s shell-shocked face as he rocked our baby back and forth in the baby carrier because I was still nursing, and we knew we’d be at...

Keep Reading

5 Ways to Heal When a Friendship Ends

In: Friendship, Living
Woman standing by window looking down at phone

I recently found myself losing a friend. We’d been friends for five years, had countless playdates, went out for girls’ nights, and even our hubbies became buds. Sadly, she felt our friendship was over. This stirred in my heart memories of a few other friendships in my life that have ended. A couple I had to walk away from, and a couple I felt the pain of being let go. Whatever side you’re on, if you’ve been through it, you know how hurtful, confusing, and frustrating it is when a friendship ends. As I was navigating this suddenly strained friendship,...

Keep Reading

I’m a Mom Now But I Still Need My Friends

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Group of women in restaurant, smiling, color photo

Hi friend, I have kids now . . . and you don’t. But what you might not know is that I need you more than ever.  I swore I’d never be that friend once I had kids. I swore it would be different. (Ah, the fibs we tell ourselves before having kids.) Yes, there are stories of how children change everything—all true. The old song and dance of she changed so much once she had a baby—reluctantly, true. Or sometimes, she never has time anymore—sadly, also true.  RELATED: Friendship Changes When One of You Has a Baby What I need you...

Keep Reading

I’m a Recovering People-Pleaser

In: Friendship, Living
Child at a birthday party, old, color photo

I’ve heard it said that when God gives you a new beginning, it starts with an ending. Hi, I’m Krystal, and I’m a recovering people-pleaser.  Maybe it was my parents’ divorce or the changes that came with it, but as a child, I somehow went from the girl who (literally) beat up the block bully for picking on my fragile neighbor to a 35-year-old woman with a shaking voice, afraid to speak my mind—even in the most ridiculous situations. I frequently think back on the time I fought the neighborhood bully. The boy I hit was grades older and much...

Keep Reading

It’s My Turn to Be the Hander of Hand-Me-Downs

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Bags of hand-me-down clothes, color photo

I slosh through the snow-covered sidewalk toward my neighbor’s house with two brown Target bags in my hands. In each bag sits folded winter clothing, most notably a generous stack of fuzzy footie pajamas that no longer fit our youngest without his protruding belly pushing back on the zipper. I look down as I make my way to their house, not only due to the slippery terrain but to allow myself the last few minutes to say goodbye to these items. A moment of silence for this phase of parenting coming to an end.  A few days earlier, I decided...

Keep Reading

10 Things Your Special Needs Mom Friend Might Not Be Telling You

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Woman with head in hands

Two years ago, my youngest daughter was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome—a progressive genetic disorder characterized by the inability to speak, loss of purposeful hand use, seizures, feeding problems, and breathing issues. Many things in my life changed drastically after this, but I was perhaps most taken aback by one thing—how much my existing friendships were affected. If you have a friend who is a special needs mother, odds are there are certain things she wishes you understood about her life. The following list of hidden truths is certainly not exhaustive or representative of every parent’s situation. But it might give...

Keep Reading

Don’t Call, Text (and Other Things You Need to Know about Me As Your Mom Friend)

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
3 moms holding babies on a couch

This is the kind of mom I am right now. Don’t talk to me during gymnastics class or swim class—this is my quiet time, and I am either getting a break from life or catching up on texts and emails or looking up the hours of the trampoline park for our next playdate. My Notes app is filled with grocery list upon grocery list. I have developed systems to stay sane. When grocery shopping, I get the one item I need first rather than last because too many times I forget the one thing I need and can’t make dinner....

Keep Reading