So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

My name is Anxiety, and I am thrilled to meet you. I’m sure we’re going to be quite close, you and I. Your deepest fears, your wildest dreams, your difficult feelings, and your most shameful secrets will soon be mine to know. 

You’ve heard of me before, and we’ve met in passing a time or two. You know me as an acquaintance, but I know you much better than that. You think you understand me, and I don’t blame you for feeling confident in that. You’ll discover soon enough, however, that you don’t understand me at all, that you had no idea how I worked, that you couldn’t have imagined what I want most in the world. You don’t know who I truly am, and soon you’ll find out that not many others do, either.  

RELATED: Battling the Beast Named Anxiety

My name is Anxiety, and I’m here to become quite close to you. I’m flattered when you think of me, but your mind isn’t all I’m after. I want to make your stomach churn, want to make your lungs feel like fire. I want to make your hands shake and your voice quiver. I want every part of you, so you live not only in fear of the worst, but also so agitated that you rage, so overwhelmed that you weep, so bound that you can’t sleep.

My name is Anxiety, and I want all of you. 

You think that you’re smarter than me, that you can stop me at will. You think I’m a choice, that I have an off button, that I’m a sign of weakness or a loss of faith. You don’t give me enough credit for how creative I am, the scenarios I can piece together. You forgot that I want all of you, down to the very chemicals in your brain. You think I’m worry, but really I’m dread. 

My name is Anxiety, and I’m looking forward to our future together. Everyone wants to leave the past behind, and I agree. Let’s look forward, onward, toward all that could happen and every possible outcome. Let’s imagine everything in the future, the unknowns, and the what-ifs. Let’s look ahead to what we can build together in your mind, what we can imagine for your future. I love planning, and I’m thrilled to be doing it with you. 

RELATED: There is No Just “Getting Over” Anxiety, But You’ll Never Face it Alone

My name is Anxiety, but you may not know me by that name. Sometimes you call me insomnia, sometimes you call me stomachache. Your children think my name is rage, your spouse thinks I’m called irrational. You flatter me when you think I’m good at planning, you make me laugh when you call me preparation. I do manage a passing resemblance to those, but in reality, I’m so much more. 

My name is Anxiety, but your name is irrelevant.

No matter what you call yourself, I get to pick new names, names you’re afraid other people will call you. I call you ugly, broken, worthless. I call you weak, stupid, a fraud. My memory is excellent, and I remember every name you’re afraid to be reminded of. I’ve kept account of all of your mistakes and shames, the public humiliations, and the dark secrets no one has discovered. I’m keenly observant and notice every difference between yourself and others. I see the moms who are better, the women who are thinner, the house that is cleaner, the kids who are more well-behaved. I see these differences and point them out to you, giving you the chance to make sure no one else notices them.  

My name is Anxiety, but I’ve been known to stretch the truth sometimes. Sometimes I introduce myself as insecurity, sometimes I go by perfection. My name isn’t the only thing I lie about, either, but you know that already.

I love to play tricks and pranks on you, convince you that danger is lurking, death is imminent, failure is certain.

It’s great fun to see what I can talk you into, what I can talk you out of. I’m sure it’s frustrating that you can’t always take me at my word, but hey, I’m Anxiety. That’s what I do. 

RELATED: My Anxiety Makes Me Feel Like I Fail Over and Over Again

My name is Anxiety, my game is imprisonment. I don’t play fair, and I have no problem cheating. I’m strong, I’m smart, and I’m able to disguise myself. I am not your friend, I am not your wisdom, I am not your weakness, and I am not your fault. 

My name is Anxiety, and for all my strengths and talents, I still have a secret I’m hoping you never learn. You know my tricks, you know my mission, you know so much about me, but I hope that you never, ever find out that you’re stronger than me.

Jennifer Vail

Jennifer is married to the very handsome man she's loved half her life, with whom she juggles 3 hilarious, quirky, sometimes-difficult-but-always-worth-the-work kids. She is passionate about people and 90's pop culture, can't go a week without TexMex, and maintains the controversial belief that Han shot first. She holds degrees in counseling and general ministries, writes at This Undeserved Life, and can often be found staying up too late but rarely found folding laundry.

An EF-3 Tornado Hit My Small Town. What It Can Teach Us about Strength.

In: Living
Tornado warning in Michigan town

It didn’t seem like a bad storm. In fact, I thought it would miss us. And I was a little bummed, to be honest. Because I love a good storm.  My 6-year-old son and I stood at the sliding door, listening as thunder roared in the distance. The sky started to light up, as droplets of rain began to hit us through the screen door. Suddenly a streak of lightning hit the ground in the near distance. Followed by another.  Maybe this storm won’t miss us after all.  We shut the door as the wind seemed to pick up. The...

Keep Reading

I Know My Friends Aren’t Bothered by My Messy House, but I Am

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Sad woman by laundry pile

My house screams at me. It screams to clear off the kitchen counters, to put away the clean clothes, to organize the shoe collection in our entry, to gather up the scattered toys, to sweep the crumbs up, to place the throw pillows back on the couch, to clean off the table—you get the idea. Everything in my sight speaks volumes to the state it does not want to be in, for the chaos it is imposing.  Keeping home is a labor of love and never of balance for me. Everything that is cleaned, made, or organized will always get...

Keep Reading

A Medical Diagnosis Challenges a Marriage

In: Cancer, Living, Marriage
Bald woman holding clippers over husband's head, color photo

It is no secret now that Albert Pujols and his wife have announced their divorce shortly after she had surgery to remove a brain tumor. As a breast cancer survivor, this news hit me in a special way. As I was reading through an article from Today, there was a quote that hit me hard, “But a marriage falling apart is far more common when the wife is the patient, researchers have found. A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis than if a man in the relationship is...

Keep Reading

You Are So Much More than the Doubts in Your Head

In: Living, Motherhood
Little girl looking out window, color photo

Keep pushing. Push through every doubt the enemy instills in your mind.  Push through the depression. Push through the worrisome moments. Push through that anxiety that won’t let you win.  You’ve got to keep going. Keep moving forward.  You are a great mother. You are a great wife. You are a great employee and an even better friend.  RELATED: Struggling With Mental Health Makes You a Bad Mom—And Other Lies I’ve Believed Don’t get stuck in the same spot that depression has led you and those thoughts that say you aren’t good enough or worthy enough.  You are.  God says...

Keep Reading

I Will Live For You

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and child silhouette

“I would die for my child, ”a well-known, often said sacrificial statement. I didn’t really know how my fierce love for my child would manifest until the first time she was extremely upset, and I didn’t know why.  Readers, I would have cut off a finger to console my baby.  I would die to protect her.  Both are strong, love-filled sentiments. And both, God willing, are unnecessary.  But there’s a daunting task that is absolutely necessary. At times it needs to be a conscious decision. Sometimes it’ll require taking care of yourself so you can better care for your child....

Keep Reading

Don’t Write Off How Far You’ve Come

In: Living
Woman smiling

Tonight when the demons in my head want to take over, I’m reminding myself that I am amazing, and I have accomplished things I dreamt about for years. I graduated from college. I have a B.A. in psychology. Other people had that. Not me. But now I do. I’m getting my Master’s degree in social work. I am a published writer. Yes, my brain and other people are tearing me down and screaming at me that I can’t do anything right. But the evidence? The evidence is that I have survived 16 years of special needs parenting. And that is...

Keep Reading

Dear Girl, Give Jesus Your Mess

In: Faith, Living
Woman holding Bible, color photo

Oh, dear girl, Give Jesus the mess. Your mess. The mess you think is too much or too big or too unbearable. The depths of the mess. The very worst of the mess. Lay it at His feet. He knew you long before the mess existed. Nobody knows your mess like Jesus. I assure you—this will not catch Him by surprise. Even when you do not understand, even when it is most difficult, even when you have your head buried in your hands. Praise Him, for God wastes nothing.  Even when it feels like opposition is coming at you from...

Keep Reading

Friends Can Be a Sanctuary

In: Friendship, Grief
Group of friends hugging

A sanctuary is defined as anywhere people go for peaceful tranquility or introspection. My friends became my sanctuary when my husband, Frank, died. They became my refuge and my safe place. Friendship is one of the most wonderful gifts in this world. It is beautiful, comforting, ever-changing, and, for me, a fixed point.  My friends seemed to know exactly what I needed and when I needed it. Their love and constant support got me through the worst of times and gave me the courage and confidence I needed to move forward.  I could never give an adequate thank you to...

Keep Reading

Childhood Trauma Made Me Crave the Simple Life I’m Living Now

In: Living, Motherhood
Family walking down road

My own childhood was not a happy one.  My earliest memory was of blowing out a birthday candle (I was maybe three) and of my wish being that my parents would get a divorce, that my dad would disappear forever. The happiest days of my childhood were 72 hours spent in a shelter for battered women outside of DC with my mom and two younger brothers because for the first time in my 9-year-old life, I felt free from the many constraints of home life—short-lived as I knew this freedom would be, knowing he would always find a way back...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Dress “Like a Mom” and I’m Not Sorry

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother in tank top and shorts with three children, color photo

I’ve always had a rather unique style.  I’m not afraid to dress loudly and stand out.  I’ll be the only girl wearing heels in a stadium full of flats.  I’ll wear sequins and glitter in my 30s.  I’ll wear vintage, current trends, and things that have possibly never been fashionable. If I feel confident and comfortable in what I’m wearing, that’s really all I care about.  I’ve been complimented on my outfit choices plenty of times.  RELATED: I’ll Always Be Too Much For Some People I’ve also been negatively judged—many times I know about and probably more times when I’m blissfully...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections