Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I may be biased, but your daddy is a pretty amazing guy. He has a natural ability to adapt and learn quickly, he’s competitive, he’s intelligent—but most of all, he’s incredibly hard-working. Not to mention he’s just stubborn enough to accomplish anything he really wants to do. And yet, he’s not a professional basketball player or big-league baseball player. He doesn’t run a company or travel the world like he once thought he might. With his blend of ability and talent, he could have made it to the big time if he worked hard enough. He could have done any of those things but he didn’t . . . and that’s why I love him.

Our life as it is today is far different from fancy hotels and traveling three quarters of the year. This life is hard work, it requires hands-on fatherhood, interrupted sleep, working for overtime, and fixing broken toilets on the weekends. It’s a life that is so beautifully fun and yet so messy and frustrating at the same time. Instead of year-end bonuses, he eagerly awaits the tax return to put it toward much-needed repairs for our family car. Rather than fancy meals at high-dollar restaurants, he has taco Tuesday and tea parties with his princesses.

He could have taken a better job with the higher paycheck and all the airline points we could ever want. He didn’t. He could have poured his life, every ounce of himself, into a sport and done well with it. He could have taken the large business loan and given all he had—time, energy, and talents—to go big time with his small dream.

His dreams were once much bigger than our little farm and quiet, home-every-night routine.

Before you were born we were aiming for something bigger, a life where our kids fit into the schedule of our dreams, not the other way around. But something happened—only by the grace of God—when he held you for the first time. In those precious moments, he suddenly realized a new dream. This one filled with soccer games and muddy kitchen floors, chasing after you as you wobbled down the road for the first time without training wheels, camping, bedtime battles, and middle-of-the-night assurances that there are, in fact, no “roars” in your closet.

He traded big time for small town, world travel for another bike ride around the block. He once thought he could do it all, but now he doesn’t want to. He didn’t lose his ambition, he changed his direction. Now, he pours himself into us instead of a job title. He learned something this world only teaches through diapers and tantrums and first day of school fears: it’s OK to have simple dreams.

Sometimes being important to your family is worth far more than a six-figure paycheck. Working around the clock on raising your kids well is far more valuable than seeing your name on the company sign, earning the corner office, or seeing the world and getting paid for it. His talent would easily let him “go places” but your smile reminds him daily the only place he wants to be is home with you when it counts.

Today, he works a comfortably simple job and comes home to this messy, simple life every day, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Don’t forget, sweetheart, when you think of reasons why you love your daddy, love him for all the things he could have been because he gave it all up—more money, power, opportunity to feel important—and he chose us instead.

Read this next: Once Upon a Time We Wished For This Life We Share

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

Laura Watts

My name is Laura Watts. I'm just another Jesus-loving mom who hopes to encourage a few people with the things I write. I believe strongly that the most important things in life are meant to be shared, including the lessons the Lord is teaching you and the joy you have been given.

The Only Fights I Regret Are the Ones We Never Had

In: Living, Marriage
Couple at the end of a hallway fighting

You packed up your things and left last night. There are details to work out and lawyers to call, but the first step in a new journey has started. I feel equal parts sad, angry, scared, and relieved. There’s nothing left to fix. There’s no reconciliation to pursue. And I’m left thinking about the fights we never had. I came down the stairs today and adjusted the thermostat to a comfortable temperature for me. It’s a fight I didn’t consider worth having before even though I was the one living in the home 24 hours a day while you were...

Keep Reading

He’s Not the Man I Married, but I Love the Man He’s Become

In: Marriage
Husband and wife, posed color photo

There is a long-standing joke in our family about my first husband. It goes something like this, “My first husband never watched football.” This is said on the rare occasion when my guy decides to sit down and watch a college football game. We both laugh because neither of us has been married more than once. Instead, this joke is aimed at all the ways we have changed over the years of being together. We married very young—I was 15 and he was just a week past his 17th birthday. Life was difficult with both of us still in high...

Keep Reading

Thank You for This Sacrificial Love

In: Marriage
Bride and groom, color photo

To lay down one’s life, according to the Bible, is the greatest expression of love. Jesus laid down His life for us by dying on the cross. God loves us so much that He sent His only son to die for humanity. As Jesus laid down his life for us, so Scripture commands husbands to lay down their lives for their wives. It’s a heavy responsibility placed on the husband to die to himself, to his desires, to his flesh, to love and serve his wife. A husband ought to love sacrificially, and that is exactly the man I married....

Keep Reading

I Hope Heaven Looks like 3128 Harper Road

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Marriage
Husband and wife, posed older color photo

Jeannine Ann Eddings Morris grew up in western Kentucky as the oldest daughter of hard-working parents, who both worked at the Merritt Clothing factory. Jeannine was the oldest of 23 grandchildren who proudly belonged to John B. and Celeste Hardeman. John B. was a well-known preacher who traveled all over the South to share the gospel. Life as a child was as humble as one might expect for the 1940s. Jeannine was the oldest of four children, spanning a 13-year age range. To hear her talk, her childhood and teenage memories consisted of mostly reading every book she could find...

Keep Reading

Overcoming Conflict Builds a Marriage that Lasts

In: Marriage
Couple sitting together on couch, color photo

I would never have admitted to being afraid of conflict back then. Not in my marriage anyway. I’d read all the books about how marriage is hard work and conflict is normal and I knew we were definitely the exception. But then at some point that first year, I realized two things: we were not the world’s most exceptional couple after all, and I was, indeed, afraid of conflict.  If we argued, even after I’d apologized a million times, I was very afraid I had failed. Like I had torn a little piece off our marriage that couldn’t ever go back. So...

Keep Reading

We Didn’t Go to Counseling Because Our Marriage Had Failed, We Went to Make It Stronger

In: Marriage
Hands holding across the table

There were three of us in the windowless room with its faded yellow walls. We were sitting in a triangle, my husband closest to the door, I in the farthest corner of the room, and the man whom I had specifically sought out, smiling serenely across the table from both of us. It was my idea to be here. After yet another heated discussion with my husband about the same issue we’ve been discussing for the past 10 years, something in me just broke. “I can’t do this anymore,” I said out loud to no one in particular. “We need...

Keep Reading

We Built a Rock-Solid Foundation in Our Little Home

In: Living, Marriage
Couple on front porch

I found my brand-new husband, sitting on the floor of the only bedroom in our brand-new house. His back propped against the wall, muscular legs extending from his khaki shorts, bare feet overlapping at the ankles. His arms were crossed in a gesture of defiance and there was an unfamiliar, challenging scowl on his face. Plopping down beside him on the scratchy harvest gold carpeting, I asked, “What’s wrong?” “This is it?” he mumbled. “This is what we used our savings for?” I stood up, tugging on his bent elbows in a vain attempt to get him to his feet....

Keep Reading

To the Woman Navigating Divorce: You Will Get Through This

In: Living, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman with eyes closed standing outside, profile shot

On May 4th, 2023 I was delivered devastating news. My husband no longer loved me, and he wanted to end our marriage. This was the last thing I expected. I tried to get him to work things out, but he was firm on the decision that we were done. My heart broke for my children and what I thought I wanted for my life. As it turns out though, this separation and soon-to-be divorce is probably one of the best things that could have happened to me. It has given me a new appreciation for myself, brought me closer to...

Keep Reading

We Got Married Young and We Don’t Regret It

In: Marriage
Bride and groom in church, color photo

In a world that tells you divorce is inevitable if you get married young, I did the unthinkable: I got married at 22 . . . straight out of college. We had no money and lived off love for the first couple of years in a cheap apartment in the worst part of the city. Black specks came out of our water pipes sometimes. Occasionally we had to take back roads to get to our apartment because police had the nearby roads blocked off for searches. Regardless, we were happy. RELATED: We Married Young and I Don’t Regret it For...

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