So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

When you’ve notched 25 years, some life has happened. Mix in 24 years of parenting three kids out of the nest, and the journey is a kaleidoscope of memories. You know love is having its way when such a milestone comes to pass.

We all know it takes more than love as a noun to sustain a relationship. While love is a sentiment we feel towards another, the deeper seed value is love in action. Nothing speaks you matter, you are valuable, you are worthy more than doing the things that show our affection.

My husband and I steep in love after a quarter century. Please don’t think a summer breeze followed us down the wedding aisle. Only kryptonite mettle got us here. Five years into our seeming bliss, we could barely breathe air in the same room. The smog of disillusion was suffocating. These years included the birth of three kids, the divorce of both sets of parents, and a job that kept my husband 60+ hours a week, including travel. Sure we still loved each other. Except the feeling was stagnant and void of any moving parts to prove its validity.

When apathy invades our love nest, one of two scenarios will emerge: relational inertia or purposeful action. Love as a verb will set us free.

As for the hubs and me, we took action and went on a Marriage Encounter weekend. Going in our emotions were a tangled mess. We lost all ability to be transparent in our communication. The pain of our parent’s separation was an IV drip pushing fear into our veins over the success of our own covenant. Raising kids as married singles was a slow bleed the other direction.

However, taking the step forward at least got us moving. Then, the immersion into quality time away from the demands of life and parenting oxygenated our spirits. Three days of love in action in the form of writing letters to one another and reading them aloud lifted the fog. By the end of the weekend, we found the sacred space we once stood upon when vowing our love on the altar.

Choosing to push past being stuck-on-stuck at the five-year mark changed our life. The experience sparked us to serve in marriage ministry for almost 15 years, where being love for other married couples was an in kind transaction to keep love moving for the greater whole.

I’d be lying if I told you the unraveling from our marriage retreat left our relationship unchecked going forward. Our commitment took some serious blows. My rage against the machine of emotional fallout from sexual abuse as a child coupled with an intense battle with bipolar were two of many deterrents to a healthy covenant. Again, love as a verb led to an awakening and renewal of our sacred bond. Because my husband (and children) deserved the best of me, I made the choice to face the worst of me and dive deep into therapy to confront the demons of my past and get a grip on my mental health.

The number of ways my spouse demonstrates his love for me with action and deed is Bible-length at this point in our marriage. God broke the mold when creating my man, and defied gravity in spinning him into my orbit. The thing is, doing the love thing is only as hard as we make it. God wired us with the technology for successful relationships. Love is what we’re made of, and what we’re made of sets us free. When we buck against this truth, trying to navigate through life and the complexity of humanity on our own accord, we miss out on the miracle.

One of the great collateral beauties of love in motion is the movie played out for our kids. When we show them what you matter, you are valuable, you are worthy looks like in real time, the dragonfly effect transcends generations. While our kids won’t always remember what we say, they’ll always remember how our actions made them feel. And feeling the depth of love can never lead them or us astray.

Shelby Spear

A self-described sappy soul whisperer, sarcasm aficionado, and love enthusiast, Shelby is a mom of 3 Millennials writing about motherhood and life from her empty nest. She is the co-author of the book, How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don't need to say, "I'm fine.") , and you can find her stories in print at Guideposts, around the web at sites like Her View From Home, For Every Mom, Parenting Teens & Tweens and on her blog shelbyspear.com.

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

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections