Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

When my husband and I adopted our older daughter Lilly 15 years ago, she was nine-months-old and weighed about 17 pounds.

That might not seem like much, but she was a chunk of a little girl—so much so that people we met in elevators and restaurants in China often mistook her for a two-year-old.

I had worked on my cardiovascular fitness in the months leading up to our adoption trip, and my regular runs on the treadmill prepared me to traverse the Great Wall with relative ease. My upper body strength, however, was a different story entirely.

My arms and back were so weak that I could hold Lilly for only a few minutes at a time before passing her off to my husband. As a result, when we were out and about in China, she spent most of her time chewing on the strap of the Snugli that held her close to his chest.

Amid the excitement and stress of becoming parents halfway across the globe, I sometimes worried about my ability to care for her when we returned home.

What am I going to do when Randy goes back to work and I have to take Lilly somewhere, I asked myself. How am I going to carry her around when I can hardly hold her now?

What happened, of course, was that the more I carried her, the stronger I got. And as she grew, so did my strength.

Three years later, we returned to China to adopt our younger girl, Molly. Though older than Lilly had been by four months, she also weighed 17 pounds. But because we were used to picking up four-year-old Lilly, who was small by American standards but made up of solid muscle, little Molly seemed as light as a feather.

I’ve been thinking about this lately as I navigate circumstances in my life that are requiring a bit more emotional and mental energy than usual. When I was a new mom, 17 pounds was almost more than I could manage, while carrying the same weight three years later—in the same unfamiliar setting, no less—was pretty easy.

In the same way, it occurs to me that different seasons of life weigh differently than others. Some are heavier, some are lighter. That’s just the way it is.

It might be that the difference lies in the actual weight, or burden, that we’re carrying. A 100-pound load is tougher to lug around than one that weighs 25 pounds, after all. It doesn’t matter if the burden is internal or caused by situations outside our control—heavy is heavy, regardless of the source.

Our preparedness or current state of mind also plays a role. When we adopted Molly, she seemed light to me, even though she weighed exactly the same as Lilly when we got her. But I was different. I was stronger, a bit more experienced and confident in my ability to be her mama.

It was just easier.

Sometimes, it’s the gravity of the season we’re in that can make it seem like we are walking around with a ton of bricks on our chest. Certain phases in our lives simply hold more significance than others—there’s more at stake and more rides on the outcome.

External circumstances affect the weight of a season, too. A level path doesn’t require as much energy as a steep incline, and it’s much easier to carry that 100-pound burden when it’s 50 degrees outside than it is when the thermometer reaches 95 in the shade.

In the same way, what’s going on around us can sometimes make what’s happening within us all the more difficult.

My reality right now, and probably yours too, is this: I’m dealing with different seasons of life simultaneously.

Some are heavy; others are light. When the weight of a heavy piece overwhelms me, I’m often at a loss for what to do. I want an answer, a solution, a three-step plan for how to make the burden lighter—or better yet, disappear.

But life doesn’t work like that, does it? There are no bows, no pat answers, no quick fixes. As helpful as they can be, there are no Bible studies or books that can fast-forward us through the weightier times.

But there is truth. There are promises to cling to, if we chose to do so. Scripture encourages us to cast our every care on the same sovereign God who hung the stars in the sky and orchestrates the four seasons. Nothing is too big or too small for His loving attention.

When we walk through the fire, the desert, the deep waters, the rocky mountains—He is with us.

No matter the season, He knows what we need. He knows what our loved ones need. And He will provide exactly that.

Wisdom for the wondering. Love for the lonely. Comfort for the grieving. Water for the thirsty. Boldness for the timid. Peace for the anxious. Rest for the weary.

And, yes, strength for the weak.

Originally published on the author’s blog

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

Lois Flowers

Lois Flowers is mom to two lovely daughters and wife to one good man. She’s an author, former journalist and lifelong Midwesterner who values authenticity, loves gardening and always reads the end of the book first. 

3 Things We Learned While Waiting For Our Adopted Child

In: Adoption
3 Things We Learned While Waiting For Our Adopted Child www.herviewfromhome.com

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage. Remember that old nursery rhyme? I can still hear it playing in my head. Growing up, I had always assumed that would be my story. The love and marriage part certainly happened for me in an amazing, storybook ending kind of way. However, the baby in the baby carriage didn’t come as quickly for my husband and me. As a few years passed, we began to feel a little restless and disheartened. However, God opened up His perfect plan for our family by leading us to...

Keep Reading

I Chose Adoption For My Baby, But I Didn’t Let Go

In: Adoption
I Chose Adoption For My Baby, But I didn't Let Go www.herviewfromhome.com

  I am often asked, when people find out I am a birth mother, “Why did you decide on adoption? Didn’t you want her?” In the tidy nutshell version of my response it was the logistical factors of being pregnant at just 16-years-old that was my why. Being a junior in high school when I saw those two pink lines in October of 2004, I still needed to graduate, plus I wanted to attend college. I did not have a job to support us. In fact, I did not have my driver’s license or even the few dollars it took...

Keep Reading

Dear Mama Reading This Right Now, You Are Amazing

In: Adoption, Child Loss, Miscarriage, Motherhood
Dear Mama Reading This Right Now, You Are Amazing www.herviewfromhome.com

To the one with healthy children in your lap, YOU are a great mom. Whether you work full-time or stay at home, you are amazing and deserve to be celebrated every day, but especially today. You sacrificed your body and your own well-being over and over again and I know you don’t regret any of it. You are enough and you are appreciated even when you don’t feel it. To the one holding a child someone else carried inside of her body, YOU are a great mom. Whether you faced infertility, surrogacy, chose to adopt, or have biological and adopted children,...

Keep Reading

4 Things a Birth Mom Wants Adoptive Families To Know

In: Adoption, Journal
4 Things a Birth Mom Wants Adoptive Families To Know www.herviewfromhome.com

The minutes on the hospital clock dwindled as I swaddled my infant daughter one last time before she was permanently placed in the arms of her adoptive family. In those final moments, I thought my heart might shatter into a thousand slivers without any hope of being mended. I was broken. Scarred. Devastated. When I left the hospital without my baby, it felt like someone was pounding on my chest with both fists and I couldn’t catch my breath. The emptiness that followed was inconceivable. A piece of me, my daughter, was gone. I couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of my...

Keep Reading

Acknowledging the Loss in Adoption

In: Adoption
Acknowledging the Loss in Adoption www.herviewfromhome.com

  “Don’t do it! Adoption is the worst!” His voice echoed through my entire body, his words hitting every unprepared bone, and I clutched the full glass of ice water ready to plunge it in his direction. There were hundreds of people in the darkened bar room, on dates mostly, sitting in the crowd enjoying the comedy show. My insides twisted and lurched, I heard nothing but the reverberations of laughter, and my mind kept envisioning myself walking over to him and punching his face in. When the comedian began working adoption into her show, my body began tingling and...

Keep Reading

Adoption Is Love

In: Adoption, Journal
Adoption Is Love www.herviewfromhome.com

  I pull around in the car line and scan the group of kids for my daughter. Usually, I can find her easily, chatting it up with her friends as she waits for me to pick her up from school. Today, though, I don’t see her. I look again and I finally spot her. She is slumped on the curb, her head in her hands and her eyes downcast. My momma radar instantly goes off as I watch her slowly get up and drag her feet to the car and I can tell that something is wrong. She slides into...

Keep Reading

The Ache While We Wait to Adopt

In: Adoption, Faith
The Ache While We Wait to Adopt www.herviewfromhome.com

  There’s a persistent ache, but sometimes I can ignore it. I can turn up the volume of what’s around me and drown it out for a bit. I play hostess and invite the noise to come in: come fill up my heart, come fill up this empty nursery, come fill up this planner. I’ve got two kids, and they are experts at noise, so my days are full of it, and it works. The noise narcotizes the ache, making it manageable, day by noisy day.  In my former life as a teacher, I used to make my students write...

Keep Reading

How Being Adopted Made My Husband a Better Father

In: Adoption, Journal
How Being Adopted Made My Husband a Better Father www.herviewfromhome.com

My husband’s earliest memories of his adoptive mother are as blurry as the black and white photos he has taped inside a leather-bound family album. He recalls the gentle hands that tucked him into bed each night and the smell of her lavender scented soap, but these memories are intertwined with the last and most painful of all: sitting on the cold hospital steps, muffled whispers in the hallway, and the tight grip of his adoptive father’s hand as they made their way back to the car without his mother. Death was an abstract concept that he was unable to...

Keep Reading

Adoption Has Made Me a Better Mama

In: Adoption, Journal
Adoption Has Made Me a Better Mama www.herviewfromhome.com

I remember etching our family plans into a napkin at our two-year anniversary dinner. We were eating at Rio in Sisters, Oregon and I couldn’t wait to get back to the little cabin we had rented to watch Harry Potter and dream about babies. Weird combo? Probably. First we would conceive and carry a miracle baby in my actual womb. Then after a bit of time had passed, after we got “the easy one” birthed, we would enter into the adoption world. I think back to my barely 20-year-old self and think about how naive she was—I still only have...

Keep Reading

Four Simple Words That Made Me Weep After My Son’s Birth

In: Adoption, Kids
Four Simple Words That Made Me Weep After My Son's Birth www.herviewfromhome.com

As quickly as my contractions pierce across my belly, they end. The moan-wrenching pain of childbirth is over, and my beautiful son takes his first breath in the world. The nurses cheer. My husband cries. I squint at the bright lights above me while my son is hoisted over my stirrupped feet and between my bent knees. He is carefully placed onto my chest. Tears roll down my cheeks. After years of infertility, adopting two daughters and giving birth to another, experiencing the pregnancy and birth of our final baby is undoubtedly one of the most healing moments for my...

Keep Reading