Yes, I have anxiety. No, I’m not fearful. Let’s just start there. 

I’m not afraid of contracting this virus. I’m not fearful for my children. I am saddened by the deaths occurring in our country right now. The loss of life is significant, and it matters. My immediate family is not inside the parameters of those most at risk. We’re all pretty healthy, we’ve isolated pretty well, and I feel confident in any single member’s recovery. I am not discounting what is happening in our world. I’m saying I’m not anxious or worried.

I have come to the place in my life where I know God will take care of us. He always does.

Sometimes there is confusion between being fearful and being cautious. My background is medical. I know about universal precautions. I know how germs are spread. I’ve seen how isolation works. It makes sense to me.

RELATED: Anxiety Says Be Afraid; God Says I Am With You

I stopped taking my children out before they officially canceled school. Not for their health, but for the rest of you. Kids are breeding grounds for the nastiest of germs. Hello, stomach virus. We stopped going to church, and book club, and pickleball. My husband worked until they asked him to stay home. We stopped visiting grandparents. We don’t do playdates. I go to the grocery store alone. I keep my distance while smiling knowingly about how strange the whole situation is for everyone. 

While I haven’t felt fear, I’ve felt relief. I’ve been working toward removing extra from our lives. I’ve cut out a few things here and there and was having small success. I still felt overwhelmed and incapacitated some days.

RELATED: To the Mom Who Feels Like it’s All Just Too Much

This outbreak eliminated every responsibility and obligation I had outside of my home.

We literally have nothing on our agenda. My calendar is blank. The thing I was trying to get back tomy familyis all I have right now. I have nothing but time. Time to make things right. Time to get good at the things that really matter. Time to start new routines and institute good habits. Time to sit and love on my babies. 

Homeschooling starts tomorrow. I’m nervous and excited. All of this time with my babies has been enlightening. We’ve colored and done puzzles. We have played outside and shared every single meal together. I’m getting to know them in ways I didn’t take the time to before. I really like them.

RELATED: Homeschool Might Be Just What We Need

I do have moments of frustration and exhaustion but so many beautiful things are being made. Memories mostly. We cut out hearts, painted them, and taped them on our windows. I’ve never done anything like that with them.

I have learned I’m capable.

That’s probably no big deal for most moms, but it is for me. I have to control everything, and I’m having to ease up and let go of perfection. I’ve been given this time to do better. I am doing better. I am going to be the best version of myself on this journey with them. 

I have anxiety. I have become this extreme introvert living in the shell of an extrovert. Being around people, trying to please everyone, was more than I could mentally handle. I constantly felt like a failure, worthless. I stressed over every interaction, made mistakes, and then berated myself over those. I don’t have to worry about any of that for the next chunk of time and that is comforting. I get a break.

I get to stop and just be with my people.

Inside our home, I spend very little time thinking about the virus living outside. I spend my time thinking about things we can get accomplished at home and things we can do together. All the things I didn’t have time for, I suddenly do. And I’m not too overwhelmed to do them. 

If I’m fearful of anything, it’s going back to normal. I don’t want to go back. I like this me.

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

Shelley McCauley

Born and raised in northeast Florida and transplanted to Minnesota, I am a stay at home mom of four, daycare provider, and foster parent. My faith and my family drive me to get up each morning and encourage me to go to bed early every night. Writing has become free therapy and my outlet to connect with other women.

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

Here’s to the Friends Who Don’t Hide Their Messy Parts

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Two women sit in a field with arms around each other

To the friend who invited me over without picking her house up beforehand . . . thank you.  You had no way of knowing, but I’ve been especially weighed down by the feeling of “I can’t keep up” lately—and when I walked into your beautiful home and saw dishes in the sink and laundry scattered here and there, I let out the deepest exhale I didn’t even realize I was holding in.  Because seeing your mess? Your less-than-perfect? It didn’t make me think any differently of you, but it did allow me to give myself the grace I desperately needed....

Keep Reading

This Is a Mom’s Brain in the Middle of the Night

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman looking at smartphone in the middle of the night

Dear husband, let me introduce you to your wife, insomnia edition. You see me not sleeping. You see me “playing” on my phone. Here’s what my brain is actually doing . . .  It’s 2 a.m., I wake up thinking, “I need to make an appointment” (it can be as mundane and stupid as a haircut or more importantly, a specialist appointment for one of the kids). I try to go back to sleep, promising myself I will remember. Lying there, I tell myself I won’t forget. I will remember, don’t worry. Fifteen minutes go by . . . On...

Keep Reading

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Small dog with head hanging out car window, color photo

Our dog Carlos has slowed down considerably within the last few months. He’s always been outspoken and opinionated–a typical firstborn trait–and to hear him snoring most of the day and tolerating things he normally wouldn’t tolerate (i.e. being carried from place to place by my son, forklift-style) put me on notice that he’s in the fourth quarter. Carlos looks and acts like an Ewok from the Star Wars franchise. According to Wikipedia, Ewoks are clever, inquisitive, and inventive. Carlos checks all three boxes. As a puppy, we tried crate training, but it never took. It wasn’t for lack of trying....

Keep Reading

Her Future Will Not Be My Broken Past

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter hold hands by water, silhouette photo

Forty years ago, you were an innocent child. You were brought into this world for a purpose. Your innocence is robbed before kindergarten by a trusted relative. You are broken and bruised by those entrusted to protect you. You are extremely emotional in your childhood, but no one listens to understand. As you grow into your teenage years, emotions are bottled up out of fear. You lean into promiscuous behavior because that is the only way you know how to get men to love you. Because of abuse that no one took you out of, you stay around those who...

Keep Reading

Mom’s Special Recipe Means More This Year

In: Grown Children, Living
Bowl full of breadcrumbs and celery, color photo

Three weeks before Easter, my family and I stood in the hallway talking to a team of doctors whom we had flagged down. We were anxiously inquiring about my mom, who was in the ICU on life support. We hadn’t been able to connect with the doctors for over 48 hours, so it was important for us to check in and see what was going on. The head doctor began discussing everything they had observed in the scans and what it meant for my mom’s quality of life. Every word made our hearts break. The doctor continued to talk about...

Keep Reading

I’m a Mom Who Reads and is Raising Readers

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom with infant daughter on bed, reading a book, color photo

Since childhood, I’ve been lost in a world of books. My first true memory of falling in love with a book was when my mom read aloud Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. With each voice she used, I fell deep into the world of imagination, and I’ve never seemed to come up for air. My reading journey has ebbed and flowed as my life has gone through different seasons, but I’ve always seemed to carry a book with me wherever I went. When I entered motherhood and gave my whole life over to my kids, I needed something that...

Keep Reading

You Have to Feel before You Can Heal

In: Living
Depressed woman in bed

“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.” -Cheryl Strayed How do you heal? You let the pain pass through you. You feel your feelings....

Keep Reading

I Didn’t Know How Much I Needed Other Mothers

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two mom friends smiling at each other

I read somewhere the other day that when a child is born, a parent is too. In my first few months being a mother, I’m learning just how odd that sentiment is. In an instant, I became someone new. Not only that, but I became part of a group I didn’t realize existed. That sounds wrong. Of course, mothers existed. But this community of mothers? I had no idea. It took us a long time to get where we are today. Throughout our journey with infertility, I knew in my heart I was meant to be a mother. I knew that...

Keep Reading

To the Extended Family That Shows Up: We Couldn’t Do This Without You

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Family visiting new baby in a hospital room

This picture—my heart all but bursts every time I see it.  It was taken five years ago on the day our daughter was born. In it, my husband is giving her her very first bath while our proud extended family looks on. It was a sweet moment on a hugely special day, but gosh–what was captured in this photo is so much more than that. This photo represents everything I could have ever hoped for my kids: That they would have an extended family who shows up in their lives and loves them so deeply.  That they would have grandparents,...

Keep Reading