So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I want highlight reels of my life but not just the images—the feel, smell, taste, sound, and sights of years ago. Actually, I don’t really want the highlights, either. I want ordinary, run-of-the-mill memories to remind me of all the tiny moments that might be so easy to forget.

The first thing I would do would be to visit the smell of each of my newborn baby’s heads. How many hours I nuzzled with my babies, breathing in the intoxicating smell. There’s no smell like it in the world.

RELATED: Time is a Thief That Steals Our Babies Away

I want to remember how it felt the first time my husband tentatively grabbed my fingers, then held my hand. I want to remember the way he nervously asked me on a date.

I want to remember the very first time I heard him say, “I love you.”

I want to remember the sounds of my babies laughing, the way they danced wearing just a diaper, especially when we needed them to go to bed. The way they ran to greet me at the door. I want to see the way the big brothers doted on the little brothers. The day the three brothers crowded around their tiny sister at the hospital.

I think I’d even want to hear the sounds of their tantrums—because now I know those tantrums were necessary. They were part of them learning to use their voice and assert power over the world.

RELATED: I’m Even Grateful For the Tantrums

I want to remember the day I was in bed with a migraine, and sweet 2-year-old Clark crept into my room—his little bare feet padding along on the hardwood floor—and brought me a cheese sandwich to make me feel better. He explained he couldn’t reach the cheese in the refrigerator, so he handed me two pieces of bread—a cheeseless, cheese sandwich. I want to hear his sweet voice, smell the boy smell of his tousled sandy brown hair. I want to hear all the alternate pronunciations he had for certain words. Telitopter. Medsuwin. Catpicker. Moonie.

Ben’s raspy voice.

Reese’s belly laugh.

Eva’s singing voice, much like it is now, only in her cartoony baby voice with made-up syllables.

RELATED: It Could Be the Last Time—And I Want To Remember

I want to remember all those moments I’ve forgotten because I was too tired, too distracted, too upset, or depressed.

There were a lot of those moments.

And if I’m really getting greedy, I want to be able to whisper into the ear of my younger self. All those times I felt I was getting it all wrong, the times I wondered if I wasn’t stacking up to the other mothers and wives. The times I regretted staying home, thinking I was missing out on a career. I would whisper words of encouragement to my younger self. I’d tell her to keep going. To trust her gut. I’d tell her she’s doing the best she can. I’d tell her to slow down, to write more, to keep these memories safe, close to her heart.

Carol Pavlik

Carol Pavlik has four children who are growing up at the same rate as everyone else’s children—too fast. By day, she writes and edits for the marketing department of her favorite public library; by night, she blogs about downsizing, living an intentional life, and reducing stress at She publishes a weekly newsletter, The Cozy Cottage Chronicles. 

Mothering One Day at a Time

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding daughter in matching shirts, color photo

As I sat with my growing belly, full of anticipation for the arrival of my firstborn, the possibilities were endless for this little girl. Maybe she would lean toward the arts and be a dancer, writer, or musician. Or maybe she would take after her great-granddad and become a scientist. And maybe one day she would be a mother too. Dreaming about the future was fun and exciting. But then she surprised us with an at-birth Down syndrome diagnosis. Special needs were never included in my dreaming sessions.    All of the sudden, my hopes and dreams for this new...

Keep Reading

So God Made a Mother With a Willing Heart

In: Motherhood
Mother and daughter smiling, color photo

You may have heard it said that God only gives special children to special parents.   But, when God made the mother of a child who has special needs, the Lord did not need a special mother, the Lord needed a mother who was willing. God needed a woman who would say yes to an assignment that many choose not to accept. The Lord knew she wouldn’t feel qualified to raise a child with special needs, but that didn’t matter because God would equip her every step of the way. Since there is no such thing as a perfect mother,...

Keep Reading

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

You Don’t Have to Lose Yourself to Be a Good Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman brushing wet hair

There is nothing wrong with losing yourself in motherhood. Diving in head first, serving your kids and spouse endlessly, never asking for a break, being proud for providing an amazing childhood for your kids, and allowing mom to become your entire identity. But what if you don’t want that?  When did this become the standard of motherhood we are all expected to achieve? Why does society say the best mom is the one that’s 110% physically and emotionally available for her kids all the time and never does anything for herself? Why are you less of a mom if you...

Keep Reading

No Screens Before 7: How Our Family Broke Free of the Screentime Habit

In: Living, Motherhood
Kids using smartphones

“We still have three more minutes!” my 7-year-old says, bouncing with Christmas-like anticipation and excitement. “Well,” I say, looking from him to his 9-year-old sister, “what could you do for three minutes?” “Leg wrestle!” they exclaim and run to the carpeted living room. This life-filled exchange was not happening in my home just a couple of months ago.  In spite of my best efforts, screen time had taken over. Both the kids and I would slip into this zombie-like, space-time vortex. I would look up and know it wasn’t healthy, but it was just so easy to just keep on...

Keep Reading

10 Tips to Banish Teenage FOMO

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen with red hair smiling

Do you ever feel like the whole world is having a party—and you weren’t invited Maybe you worry about being included in the right groups or invited to the right sleepovers. Maybe you envy the relationships you see at school or youth group or feel jealous of the perfect social media posts showing others making memories together. If you’re a teen in 2022, you’re probably well acquainted with the fear of missing out. Knowing or wondering what you’re missing or who is getting together without you can leave you feeling lonely. It can leave you lonely and a little blue....

Keep Reading

I Want My Boys To Become Men of Character

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boys with arms around each other by water

I’m a single mama of two young boys. As a woman raising young boys, I’ve thought a lot about how I want them to act—as kids and adults. We joke around that I’m not raising farm animals, and we don’t live in a frat house. I’m trying to plant seeds now so they grow into men with positive character traits. They burp, fart, spray toothpaste on the sink and somehow miss the toilet often, but I’m trying to teach them life lessons about what it means to be great men and gentlemen.  Interactions with other men provide opportunities for us...

Keep Reading

I Know It’s Just Summer Camp but I Miss You Already

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Kids by campfire

You would’ve thought I was sending you off to college. The way I triple-checked to make sure you had everything you needed and reminded you about the little things like brushing your teeth and drinking plenty of water about a thousand times. You would’ve thought I was sending you to live on your own. The way I hugged you tight and had to fight back some tears. The way you paused before leaving just to smile at me. The way I kept thinking about that boyish grin all the way home. The way I kept thinking about how you’re looking...

Keep Reading

I’m So Thankful For This Little Family

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Toddler boy and infant girl, color photo

I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, and praying for a life like I have now. Praying for a man to love me, to be loyal to me, to want a family with me, to provide for me, to show me what stability felt like and what it felt like to not ever have to worry . . . and here he is right in front of me. I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, praying for a house I could make a home and raise my family in. Here it is right in front of me. But most of...

Keep Reading

The Kids are Grown—Now What?

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Middle aged couple at home smiling

Between video chats with our son stationed overseas, our daughter flits in and out our door from college while the shoe jungle by the front door and lack of peanut butter in the house are proof our youngest adult son is still under our roof.  Our kids are now independent—almost. Gone are the days of diapers, endless food preparations, naps (well, not for me), and announcing everyone’s daily schedule like a calendar drill sergeant. After years of simultaneously spinning multiple plates on various body parts, we managed—by God’s grace—to raise three kids to adulthood. We made it! (High five!) We...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!


Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime