Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

It wasn’t a decision that was made lightly. I didn’t think it would be forever, maybe just temporary. Freshly married, off we went into the unknown, leaving behind our families and the town we grew up in, where we had always called home. It wasn’t easy, but we did it.

That doesn’t mean I don’t miss the place I grew up. That doesn’t mean everything is super easy without any family around to help out. That doesn’t mean my heart doesn’t ache for my kids who can’t just take a 5-minute drive to their grandparent’s house like I did growing up. That doesn’t mean I don’t get teary-eyed knowing grandparents and great-grandparents are missing milestones in our lives I know they’d love to see. That doesn’t mean I don’t ponder on what is lost because we made the decision to move away.

That also doesn’t mean I regret making the decision. It just means it was thoroughly thought out, and it was one my heart had trouble making. I’m glad we made the decision to pack up and move away from all we had known because I think I needed to.

Moving away made me grow up. I had to.

Just because you get married, doesn’t mean you automatically become more mature overnight. When you later have a child, it doesn’t automatically give you a sound mind that makes all the right decisions. (Boy, don’t I wish).

RELATED: It’s Not Easy Raising Kids Without Family Nearby

Moving away taught me to rely more on myself and that I was capable of doing thingseven the hard ones. Moving away made my husband and I rely on each other instead of on our herds of family members in the town we had just left. It gave us room to grow, separately and together, and now I hope it has given our children the courage to see the world.

Sitting here in my home in a state I never thought I would be living in, I’m happy.

We made hard choices and fought many battles to get here, but here we are nonetheless. We have made a new place home, and I love it. I love the fresh faces, new scenery, and previously unheard of opportunity that the new place I call home brings my family. I wouldn’t go back to change a single thing that brought me here and I sure don’t want to uproot my family from the place I’m contently and happily calling home. The place my kids will get the chance to call home as they grow.

RELATED: People Move, But Memories Remain

I never want my kids to think they have to live where I do just because of familial obligation, pressure, or because they thought they never had the chance to leave where they grew up. Part of me thinks my kids may end up in the place I grew up, one day raising their own families. Nothing would bring me more joy than to know they had the courage and freedom to make that choice themselves. If they end up next door to me, I know my heart would rejoice more than anything, but I want them to do it because they want to.

Choosing where to live and raise a family is a monumental decision, and I don’t think anyone takes it lightly.

It’s even harder on the people who choose to lock in on a place that is away from all the people they know and love. It takes courage, heart, and a whole lot of determination. There’s fear, sometimes there is regret, uncertainty, and questioning. Occasionally, there’s longing for the people you love and there are tears when your children ask to go see their grandparents but they can’t.

But, there are planes and interstates. There are family vacations and FaceTime. There are cell phones and landlines. There are stamps for letters and there are packages that can be sent.

RELATED: I Don’t Want a “Forever Home,” Just a Movable Village

There will be love no matter where you decide to call home. There will be opportunities and support, too. You will make new friends who become like family to you, and boy, are they great. There will be long-awaited visits, both coming and going. There will be excitement and sadness. There will be chaos of emotions almost all the time. That’s life. But I can testify, there is freedom in allowing yourself to face the unknown and to chase opportunity.

There will be joy in finding a place to call home for your family.

Seek it.

Find it.

No matter where it ends up being, allow yourself to be happy.

Home is where you make it.

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

Jordan Morgan

Wife & mama just winging this whole thing one day at a time. I have a love for words, travel, the South, family, Jesus, yoga, and a relaxing swing on the front porch. I try to find humor in all things and keep motherhood real – the good and the bad. My goal is to help women on the motherhood journey feel less alone. You can find me over on my blog at www.jordanmorgan.com on Facebook @jordanmorganwriter or on instagram @mamayogatn

There’s No Such Thing As a Good or Bad Body

In: Living, Motherhood
Little girl sticking her tongue out with her brother and parents, color photo

Maybe it was the ’80s or just my situation, but growing up, I noticed a lot of body talk among adults. Mostly by the women, but sometimes by the men.  My gorgeous grandma always dressed up and was always on a diet. I remember a babysitter who was supermodel gorgeous not eating this or that because she didn’t want to get “fat.” Once, during my freshman year of college, my grandpa commented that I “had gained some weight.” As an adult, a compliment I often heard if my weight fluctuated slightly was, “You look great, you’re so thin.”  Or the...

Keep Reading

“Do You Still Want the China?”

In: Grief, Living
Grandmother and young granddaughter

My grandmother sits in the same plush chair that my grandfather sat in before he passed. The red reclining chair, next to the old brick fireplace where an oversized picture of our extended family smiles down from the mantel above.  Recessed lighting illuminates her freshly washed white hair, a startling contrast to the dark brown perm of her past. In lieu of her signature sapphire blouse, she wears a striped blue bathrobe, the hem settling around her calves and accentuating her swollen legs.  She clasps her hands together and closes her weary eyes. I wonder if she is ready to...

Keep Reading

Winter Can be Lonely; Please Check In On Your Friends

In: Friendship, Living
Winter street

Winter can be hard for a mom.  In the summer months, she often sends her kids outside, the warm sun beaming down and the windows wedged open as she listens to everyone run around the backyard.  She cherishes the opportunity to gather everybody for walks in the springtime, bright tulips peeking through, whenever the weather is nice.  Autumn offers respite with its crisp leaves and bearable temperatures.  But winter? Sometimes winter is hard. RELATED: The Lonely I’m Hiding Is Heavy Though beautiful, winter can feel like a ceaseless parade of dark nights. Winter can feel like isolation.  Winter can feel...

Keep Reading

Wear the Pretty Underwear

In: Faith, Grief, Living, Loss
Woman in evening gown, color photo

This week was monumental.  After 15 years, I finally finished a bottle of Victoria’s Secret perfume. I just wish I would have emptied it sooner.  It was one of those special occasion luxuries because it was not cheap. For years, I had saved this decadent perfume for date nights and holidays. It was too fancy for everyday use. And then, I was widowed without warning. My husband was here one minute, then gone the next. Impossible. Unfair. Traumatic. RELATED: What If Tonight Was Your Last Chance To Have Sex With Your Husband? But we were going to die in our...

Keep Reading

Some People Will Misjudge You; Let Them

In: Friendship, Living
Woman on beach with arms up

Have you ever seen a simple phrase but felt like it was impossible?  “Let them . . .” This is a phrase I’ve seen in many places. It doesn’t matter where it is found, overall it means the same thing. If you’re like me, then you struggle with it. It’s an everyday battle. Heck, it’s an hourly battle sometimes. You can say over and over that it doesn’t matter. Their thoughts don’t matter. Their opinions don’t matter. Their get-togethers don’t matter. Their talking behind your back doesn’t matter. Their choices don’t matter. It doesn’t matter what the case is—it is...

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

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

You’re the Kind of Teacher Who Brings Out the Best in My Child

In: Living, Motherhood
Teacher with student high fiving

Dear Mrs. Izzy, I was a teacher, and I know how challenging busy little boys can be. The energy, the questions, the silliness . . . THE ENERGY. Sometimes they call it “gifted and talented,” sometimes “enriched.” When I taught middle school, it was called “Advanced Social Studies.” Whatever they were calling it, I knew one thing . . . this teacher was not interested in leading it.  People often think these types of classes would be easier on a teacher because the students are so excited about learning. I know the planning, patience, and persistence it takes to lead...

Keep Reading

Volunteer More—You Won’t Regret It

In: Living
Volunteers in kitchen smiling

I love volunteering. I have made amazing friendships and learned so much by volunteering. I volunteer in my community, I have volunteered to coach on occasion, and I volunteer in my church. I do it because it makes me feel good about helping others and bringing events to our small corner of the world. My personality has been made and molded to help others.  While volunteering, I have learned how to best set up a serving line that maximizes efficiency. I have learned how amazing and funny the kids in our community are. I have learned planning and organizing skills that have...

Keep Reading

To the Teacher Who Let Me Dance: Thank You

In: Living
Feet of a young dancer on darkened stage

If you would have driven through my neighborhood in 2008, you would have seen a strange and humorous sight: a 12-year-old girl dancing outside her garage, blonde ponytail flying.  You would have seen the long, bright orange extension cord hooked up to a silver boombox and the concentration on my face as I practiced the moves from class. I’ve never been a confident or carefree person, but as I danced, you would have seen a girl who was free and fearless.  But what you wouldn’t have seen was the teacher who made it all possible.  It was the great recession...

Keep Reading