Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

She turns four this month. How did that happen so quickly? Wasn’t I just watching her tiny profile on the ultrasound screen, cradling her in my growing belly and feeling her soft rolls and kicks? When did my baby turn into such a big girl?

All of these thoughts are running through my head while she sits at the kitchen table, eating her cereal and trying to keep her head still so I can finish her braided pigtails. And before I realize what’s happening, one more thought is crossing my mind, what if she had to grow up without me?

It hits me that she is the same age I was when I lost my own mother. I know from experience that if something were to happen to me now, my little daughter would eventually forget almost every memory we’ve shared together. I would become nothing more than a smiling face in our family pictures, a familiar voice speaking behind the camera of all of her baby videos, a faint shadow in the corners of her mind. She might remember the love we shared and the way I made her feel, but she would have trouble actually remembering me.

RELATED: Growing Up Without My Mom Taught Me About the Gift of Time

Her confident voice interrupts my thoughts, “Mommy, after this, let’s sit on the couch and color together.”

Instinctively, I start to decline this sweet offerafter all, we’re nearing bedtime and we’ve already spent the entire day together. Mommy doesn’t feel like coloring . . . Mommy just wants a break.

No, honey, Mommy has to finish the laundry. No, Mommy just wants to rest on the couch while you color. No, you can color while I check my emails. But I don’t end up saying any of these things. Instead, I smile and I simply say, “Okay.”

She excitedly jumps up from her seat and grabs two coloring books from her drawer, a unicorn one for me and a kitten one for her. We sit on the couch, each with our own box of crayons, and we start to color.

“Mommy, look at her tutu, doesn’t it look so great?” she proudly lifts up the page that she’s been coloring, and I shower her with compliments on the pink tutu. She looks over at my page next, “Mommy, you are doing an amazing job! You are so great at this!” I smile and a memory from many years past pops into my head.

RELATED: I Was Too Young to Lose My Mom

Suddenly, I’m a little girl with a coloring book in my lap, looking over at my mom’s hands clutching a crayon. I can’t remember much, but one thing I do remember is coloring with my mom. I remember how she would take a marker and outline the borders of the part she was going to color, then shade it perfectly with her crayon. I don’t remember her face, but I do remember watching her coloring next to me. I remember being a little girl and thinking, “Wow, Mommy, you are so great at this!”

My daughter continues to focus intently on keeping her crayons inside the lines, and I spend a moment just watching herthe little blonde braids, her bare feet sticking out of the bottom of her pajama pants, the way her small body fits next to mine on this couch cushion. What an honor to be her mother and to watch her grow up. What a blessing to be able to share these little moments together.

Today, I’m glad I didn’t decline. Today, I’m glad I set aside the temptation to do my own thing and work through my never-ending to-do list. Today, I just needed to tell my daughter, “Okay.”

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

Kristen Stewart

A mom from the Midwest who loves spending time with family, writing, and doing her best to follow Jesus every day. I'm a huge fan of Dr. Pepper, breakfast pizza, summer nights spent outside, Taco Tuesday, my two cats, and long walks through the bookstore.

A Mother’s Love Never Dies, Even When She Does

In: Grief, Living
grieving woman in sunshine www.herviewfromhome.com

The day your mom dies, when you become motherless, you will start wondering and questioning things you never imagined you would. Things you couldn’t even think about before she died and probably never would have until after you lost her. You’ll wonder where she is a million times a day from the very second she leaves and all the minutes after she’s gone. You’ll wonder if she’s somewhere nearby or really far away because sometimes you can feel it both ways. One minute, you have to catch your breath because you feel her so near it’s as if you could...

Keep Reading

But Mom, I Always Thought We’d Have More Time

In: Grief, Loss
woman staring out at sea

Sometimes I feel guilty that I still miss you. Sometimes I feel like enough time has passed, and I should just be over it by now. See, it’s not the early days in my grieving process anymore. It’s been four years. Today has been four years. How is it that four years can seem like so long ago—long enough for so much to have changed? And at the same time, it feels like it was just yesterday. I remember every detail about that day so vividly. I remember the thunderstorm that happened and the beautiful sky after it passed. I...

Keep Reading

“It Can Wait.” What I’ve Learned about Doing Too Much after My Mom Died Young

In: Grief
Family posed for photo outside

My mom died at the age of 45. Yes, just 45.  Around Mother’s Day, the reality of just how young she was hits me hard. As a mother of two young boys, I’m evaluating my own motherhood journey and in the absence of my mom, trying to give myself some sound advice for this next year.  My mom was a family doctor. She got her MD at the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s from Johns Hopkins University. Brilliant, most would say. She was in generally good health, petite, never smoked, never had more than a glass or two of...

Keep Reading