I know this mom who completely forgot her son’s first ever school picture day. She sent him to school with crazy long bedhead styled hair and an everyday shirt that likely had stains on it. Her boy went ahead and got his picture taken because there would be no retake day only to have his little kindergarten heart broken when his mother forgot to place an order to get said pictures.

I also know a mom who left her two week-old baby girl in the car while she ran into the bank to make a deposit. The worst part is she didn’t even know she had left the newborn babe snoozing in the car until a friend in the bank asked how the new baby was.

And I know a mom who hurried out the door, got in the car to do bus stop drop, and was just about to turn the car on to leave when her son piped up, “Where’s our little sister?” In her rush, she didn’t notice that her two year-old daughter wasn’t even in the car.

Seriously– who does that?!?!

Me. I’ve done that. I am that mom– the one who forgot school picture day, and both of her daughters on separate occasions, but both involving a car.

Judge me if you must. Lord knows I’ve judged myself. I can guarantee I am harder on myself for my shortcomings as a mother than anyone else could ever be. And I would bet that’s how most mothers (or parents) are, too– harder on themselves.

That’s why it breaks my heart when I see stories all too similar to mine plastered all over the internet. I mean, have you seen the comments under some of those stories? We’re mean, folks. We assume the worst. And we are far too quick in asking, “Who does that?!?!” especially of other parents that we’ve never met and situations we may have never actually been in.

Granted, these stories often hit the internet because they made the news. And they made the news because they have far more tragic endings than mine. But it SO could have been me. And that is not something I take lightly. I make it a point to thank God every day for my happy endings, loving me in spite of my momming mishaps, and for His grace.

Grace, friends. Grace He gives freely to all of us.

So, why is it so hard for us to give it to ourselves and our peers down here in the trenches of motherhood? I’ll be honest– I don’t have the answer to that question. But what I do know is I am working on it. Because while I may do things like forget school picture day and my actual kids on occasion, do you know what else I’ve done?

I’ve loved all three of those kids unconditionally since the very first day I knew of their existence, as I would imagine most parents do. I mean, I may not have my act together on most days, but my kids are my kids. I love them. And they deserve a mom who isn’t dwelling on a past she cannot change.

So, I choose to recognize my shortcomings, take responsibility for my mistakes, and learn from it all. I am learning little by little to give myself grace. And I’m not going to lie, it’s a process. A process that requires lots of prayer and devotions.

Speaking of devotions, I was in the middle of writing this (right after the whole almost forgetting my two year-old incident) when I decided it might be a good time to get caught up on my devotions. I was a week behind and feeling the weight of my mom fails. I was starting to see the truth instead of just the humor in the “World’s Okayest Mom” coffee mug that I’d just ordered the week prior. And I needed help.

So, I picked up my copy of Jesus Calling and sat down to catch up. And you guys, every day I was behind (May 7-14) talked about making mistakes, life’s difficulties, trusting God and growing in grace. Goosebumps, chills, teary eyes because how’s that for God’s perfect timing? Anyway, the following verse really hit home with me and has been on my heart ever since.

“But he (Jesus) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

For when I am weak, then I am strong. . . Huh?

Maybe the answer lies in accepting His grace. Maybe it’s in accepting His grace we truly learn what it means to give grace above judgement to ourselves and others.

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

Terryn Drieling

Hi, I’m Terryn. I grew up on a northeast Nebraska feed yard with pens of cattle as my backyard. That is where I fell in love with raising beef. So when I went off to college in the big city of Lincoln, NE, I focused my studies on animal science with the goal of one day becoming a feed yard manager. While at UNL, I met my never-boring, always-entertaining husband, Tom. After earning my degree in 2006, we moved out to the panhandle of Nebraska where I took a job on the animal health crew of a local feed yard. I loved my job, so-much-so that I would argue I never actually worked. Over the course of the next seven years Tom and I got married, welcomed a son and then a daughter, and I continued loving my life and career. I couldn’t imagine life any other way. But then, God inserted a plot twist into our story… And I am so thankful for His twist because I am happier than I have ever been doing things I never thought I’d do. I am now a stay-at-home-mom and ranch wife who has discovered new passions in photography and writing/blogging. Faith Family & Beef where I share my story as a wife, mother, lover of coffee, and dabbler in photography – living in the Nebraska Sandhills, bringing up a family while raising beef. Follow along on my blog: https://www.faithfamilyandbeef.com/

So God Made a Sunday School Teacher

In: Faith, Living
Woman sitting at table surrounded by kids in Sunday school class, color photo

God looked around at all He had created, and He knew He would need someone to teach His children. So God made a Sunday school teacher. God knew He needed someone with a heart and desire to teach children God’s word. God knew the children would act up and made Sunday school teachers with patience and grace to guide them when they step out of line in class. He also made Sunday school teachers with a touch of discretion to know when the stories of a child may be real or imagined. God knew this person would need to be...

Keep Reading

But God, I Can’t Forgive That

In: Faith, Marriage
Woman holding arms and walking by water

Surrender is scary. Giving in feels like defeat. Even when I know it’s the right thing, yielding everything to God is scary. It also feels impossible. The weight of all I’m thinking and feeling is just so dang big and ugly. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes I cling so tightly to my fear I don’t even recognize it for what it is. Bondage. Oppression. Lack of trust. Oh, and then there’s that other thing—pride. Pride keeps me from seeing straight, and it twists all of my perceptions. It makes asking for help so difficult that I forget that...

Keep Reading

Dear Dad, I Pray for Our Healing

In: Faith, Grief, Grown Children
Back shot of woman on bench alone

You are on my mind today. But that’s not unusual. It’s crazy how after 13 years, it doesn’t feel that long since I last saw you. It’s also crazy that I spend far less time thinking about that final day and how awful it was and spend the majority of the time replaying the good memories from all the years before it. But even in the comfort of remembering, I know I made the right decision. Even now, 13 years later, the mix of happy times with the most confusing and painful moments leaves me grasping for answers I have...

Keep Reading

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