Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉


Last night, my heart broke as I watched you struggle through the pain of confusion. As mine was splintering at the core, your tiny heart was breaking as well, little cracks and fractured pieces. You didn’t understand. Your little silhouette, in the glowing night-light, was bobbing in its half-awake, half-asleep, completely torn-apart state. Bewildered, you tried time and again to no avail. You didn’t want your bear. You refused your Minnie Mouse. You “ate hu.” Oh, how I wish your sisters had never allowed your little ears to hear that word, “hate,” but at that hour, I think there was nothing in the world that you loved, could possibly love, except the one thing you couldn’t have, that I could no longer provide.

Finally, you caved . . . just a little. You cried and reached for your sippy-cup cup of water. As you snuggled it into your chest, you drifted into a half-sleep. My heart breathed a sigh of relief, but it didn’t last . . . 

It started again and again . . . 

The tears, the rolling, the begging, the longing . . . 

Restless tossing . . . 

Will this pain ever cease?

Please, please just sleep and end the tortured yearning.

The torment truly is shattering me much more than it is you. You will forget; I won’t. You will move on, but the memory of this fleeting time in our lives will stick in my heart forever as I can no longer have this part of our bond back.

You’re a big girl now. You eat tacos and homemade pizza. You drink cups of milk and yummy juice in so many amazing flavors. Candy is your favorite. Mommy can still nourish you, but differently. Mommy can snuggle you in her arms and smell your sweet fragrance of innocence as we read story after story. Mommy can sing songs to comfort your little soul. We can run and play games, and mommy can kiss all your boo-boos. I’ll continue to fish toys out of your footie pajamas and we can hold hands and dance until we collapse in giggles.

As you grow, things are only going to continue to change, and change is never, really, easy. This is just the first of many struggles we will endure as a mommy-daughter duo, but we will get through this . . . together. Yes, always together. Know that, bury it deep within your being and believe whole-heartedly there is no place in this world you can travel that I am not there.

Mommy’s milk is gone because all day you run and play—you don’t need it anymore. It knows that. How it knows that I am not sure, but that is what it is telling us.

Please sleep, my sweet, sweet child. I will nestle you close to my cheek as my tears dampen your baby-fine hair. I feel the emptiness of knowing there is nothing I can truly do to ease this transition other than to just be there . . . be me. Tomorrow, I will cradle you in my arms and bark at your LEGO dogs until that stage, too, has passed.

Soon, the magical stage will disappear completely as you turn into the child who looks at me like a monster and runs from my insane grown-up ideas and comments . . . ugh . . . if only I understood you. I do, more than you know. You and your sisters are so . . . ME. Scarier for me than it is for you, trust me.

We will always have this night. This first night of struggle for us. We are bonded for eternity. You are my baby now and always.

Whether breast or bottle fed. Whether your child is giving up a beloved pacifier or has lost a forever, lovey friend and must adjust to life without. It is so hard to watch the pain of loss in one so little. There is no way to reason or rationalize. Their tiny little brains just can’t comprehend the loss of what once was.

Being a mommy is tough and heart-breaking, but it is also heart-building. Those little cracks will heal and swell with a love so big it can overcome any obstacle. I have seen this with my “big girls.” I have had fractures with them that have healed . . . I currently have a few new fissures. They still need me, they still want me, whether they care to admit it or not. I am here whenever they want Mommy to snuggle. I’m their forever friend. I’m their safe place, their safety net, and they are my life force . . . what keeps this mommy’s broken heart beating . . . their smiles have a healing power that is immeasurable.

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

Amanda Almond

My name is Amanda Almond and I am a former public-school teacher.  I hold a Master's of Education degree and taught Kindergarten for 6 years.  My last year in the classroom (year 7), I began teaching K-2 math before leaving the profession to be a stay-home mom to my first-born child, a daughter.  Now, almost 8 years later, I am still a stay-home, homeschooling mommy.  I spend a lot of time alone with my 4 girls because my husband is a truck driver.  I have recently decided to begin sharing my life with anyone who would like to read my stories.  It is therapeutic for me and hopefully someone can benefit from reading about our wild and crazy life.

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading