So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

In the ten years and one month since my husband and I got engaged, mantle artworkI have learned a great deal about love. In the six years and seven months since we first became parents, I have learned even more. And when I look now at the simple piece of artwork, exactly as old as our vows, that rests on our mantle and reflects 1 Corinthians 13:4 (a common wedding verse, read at our ceremony, too), I see so much truth about love in marriage, parenthood, and life in general.

“Love is patient,” — indeed, while in the trenches of life with little Littles, when the nights are short and the days are long, showing patient love to one another is a must. Whether it be a toddler-posed question (for the, I swear, 50th time) or a “Did you remember to buy the….?” answered by a blank, bleary-eyed look, patience and grace are a daily practice in building and maintaining a life together.

“love is kind…” — kindness comes in many forms. In marriage, it may be completing a household chore you know your spouse despises, or a simple offering of a sweet compliment in the middle of a long week. What kind love really does is acknowledge our humanness and reflect our ability to pick each other up when help is needed.

“it always protects,” — like beauty, protection is in the eye of the beholder. While I have thankfully never had to worry much about my husband physically protecting me from threats, I know he does so mentally and emotionally on a regular basis, for which I am most grateful. Currently the most appreciated protection he offers is to help me carve out a tiny bit of me-time each week, often in the form of a yoga class taken, not taught, as he knows it is exactly what I need to be able to offer him and our children my best.

“always trusts,” — for anyone who has ever been hurt or betrayed, trust can be a tricky element to allow. In a romantic relationship or friendship, trusting love is often gained over time. With kids, the (sometimes overwhelming) sense of trust in your abilities by some higher power who has placed this tiny being in your arms and care is much more immediate. Either way, you are dealing with someone else’s heart, and they yours. Trust to listen, to care, and to always be there are some of the best gifts of love we can give each other.

“always hopes,” — being Type-A planners who love to think ahead and dream of what is next to come, hoping is not hard to find when it comes to my marriage. My husband and I see such great potential in our kiddos and in each other, and we have hope – faith – that these beautiful dreams will in fact come to be. Even when our world falls apart a bit, we come back, together, with a longing for better days, buoyed by hopeful love in the meantime.

“always perseveres.” — Ah, yes. See what I just said there? The world sometimes falls apart. A month turns sour, illness prevails, or finances are threatened. No life is immune to such down swings, and no love, no marriage, and no family is either. This is where prevailing love shows its strength, its determination. Sometimes a hard situation means walking away, but often times life is not that cut and dry and we must stick it out, testing our love’s patience, kindness, and trust along the way. Perseverance may not come easy, but it will see you (both, all) through to the other side.

“Love never fails.” — it would be easy to look at the world and think otherwise. There is a great deal of pain, violence, and darkness around us. But if we continue to foster love, for ourselves, for each other, for our extended families and communities, then love will never die; in fact, it will do quite the opposite as with each demonstration of love we allow it to grow and spread, brining love and light to as many and in as many ways as possible. And unfailing love truly is possible.

So, please, take a moment to reflect on the love in your heart and in your life, and then, in whatever way you can, share it with others. For above all, I have learned in this life that giving love away only increases, never decreases, the joy we carry in our hearts.

Jenni Welsch

A South Dakota girl at heart, Jenni has made a home in Hastings with her cool Nebraska guy and their four sweet babes. On top of being a stay at home mama, she is also a certified yoga teacher and part-time college writing instructor; writing on her blog keeps all of her roles and loves in life together. Before Jenni's oldest fell head over heels for Angry Birds, he once had a thing for dinosaurs. The Maiasaura is a dinosaur named for being a "good mother lizard" which is where she draws inspiration for her blog about mamahood, The Modern Maiasaura, in which some days are more good and others more lizard. You can read more and follow along with all of Jenni's latest kid antics, yoga adventures, and mama-isms at http://

While I Wait for Another Door to Open, I’ll Hold One For Someone Else

In: Faith, Living
Woman teaching another woman by computer

I’m waiting for another door. All my life, I’ve been told that when God closes one door, He opens another. And here I am, staring at the imminent end of the business I’ve built from nothing. Closing down what I started up from sheer willpower, too much caffeine, and the bold determination to work for myself. Scratching out what I made from scratch . . . and it feels horrible. God didn’t just close this door. He slammed it shut, boarded the whole thing up, and hammered the nails in where I cannot pry them open. Believe me. I’ve tried....

Keep Reading

Separating Work From Home is a Must For Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom with baby smiling

If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 11-year-old boy with his pale feet sticking out from under the blanket, on his way to the morgue after a gun accident.   If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the still, blue form of the 3-month-old who passed away in his sleep. We gave CPR and all the medicines “just in case,” but that baby was gone long before his caregiver brought him in through the door. If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 3-year-old...

Keep Reading

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

In This Stage of Marriage, it Feels Like We’re Roommates Who Share the Same Kids

In: Faith, Marriage
Distant couple on phones in bed

How do you get it back? How do you get back the love you once had? Everyone told me marriage was hard and having kids was hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought everyone was lying because our relationship was solid before marriage. We were best friends. Some days I feel like we’re roommates who share the same kids. It disgusts me even to say that, but it’s the truth. Marriage is hard and has ugly sides to it that everyone seems afraid to talk about. RELATED: Keep Showing Up Even When Marriage is...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

I Am a Good Enough Mom

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother kissing toddler

I came to motherhood knowing nothing about the job. My mother’s example wasn’t an example at all, more of something to forget, and maybe even get therapy for. My own son was the first newborn I’d ever held. When I became a mom, I was 23 and clueless.  Because of my personality, I wanted to do everything right and parenthood was no exception. I read all the books on parenting I could. I talked to older moms and soaked up all the advice they gave me. Having no idea what I was doing made me look to outside sources to inform...

Keep Reading

God’s Plan For Me Wasn’t What I Expected

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman walking with children silhouette

I grew up in a family where we knew who God was. We went to church, and we were involved in church. However, when we weren’t at church, time spent in the Word fell to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were wonderful people, but we didn’t make that a priority in my house.  Going into adulthood, I realized I had deceived myself into believing I had a relationship with God. I knew God loved me, but I questioned whether I loved Him. I wasn’t living life in a way that was glorifying to Him. I’m not only...

Keep Reading

But God is Still Good

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking out window

“I can’t afford a new one,” I thought to myself as I shampooed another stain. This can’t keep happening. Maybe I made a mistake. I have to make this last. And the couch. And the clothes. And all the things. We are done having babies. The price of food has doubled. It’s astronomical to fill the cars with gas. Things are closing in on me. How can I best serve my family? Survival mode engaged. When I read the news, when I follow the headlines, when I listen to the conversations around me . . .  I hear fear. Loss....

Keep Reading

Jesus Helps Me Smile Through the Weary Moments of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding toddler girl, color photo

“Mom, why aren’t you smiling?” My 4-year-old took one look at my face, and like an open book, she could read me. Sometimes I wish I could hide it better, tucked behind an infinite smile or a pasted-on happy face. Sometimes I wish my beautiful children—so young, free, and fun—wouldn’t see my face on a day like today. RELATED: Motherhood is Hard, But Loving You is the Easiest Thing I’ve Ever Done You see, it’s just so hard—all of it. And I am just so tired. Between working a job, trying to keep up with being a supportive wife and...

Keep Reading

The Guilt of an Angry Mother Meets Grace

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and son hug at home

“No one’s perfect,” I think. I’m mopping up my overspilled anger like the remnants of an erupted chocolate volcano that hit the kitchen floor.  It was the last bucking whine of “I don’t want chocolate in my milk” that did it. The culmination of about one million “I want chocolate in my milk”s ended with a sticky muddy river of it from highchair to floor.  After reasoning with my toddler, which never works well, I gave in to his adamant refusal of white milk for a chocolatey exchange. He responded to my surrender like a 2-year-old. He revolted. Little feet...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.