Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

My darling Ella,

Today you turn seven years old. Where does time go? As each year passes, I find myself asking again and again, never with an answer.

The truth is, my oldest daughter, time moves the same each day. We are all given the same snippets of hours and minutes and seconds in this grand life, but when you were born on that hot August day seven summers ago, time became more precious.

The early years were a haze of bottles and late nights and loud screams, a mixture of running water to ease your anger and long drives with ‘80s music to soothe your soul. Those days were hard and long and seemed never ending. Time was slow then, but always beautiful. Your sweet smile, the smell of your baby skin and the joy of many firsts made each day run together with the last.

Until they didn’t. And one day, I looked up and there you were; playing on your own, feeding yourself, bathing yourself, reading and solving math problems. And I wonder, in the day to day, if I soaked it in. Everyone told me to take it in and I did. But I didn’t. And I wish for just a moment, I could go back and hold your sweet tiny body in my arms and breathe in your precious newborn smell. Just for a moment. 

But now my girl, we’re in a new stage. You’re about to start first grade! We’ve replaced bottles and Sippy cups with sports drinks and lemonade; blankets and pacifiers with dresses and lip gloss; mashed sweet potatoes and peas with grilled cheese sandwiches and pizza. You’re seven. Seven! Where does time go?

This year you’ll notice new things and life will become obvious. You might see bullies; I pray that’s never you. You might get your feelings hurt, too. I’d like to wrap you in a bubble and shield you from all of life’s blows, but you’ll have to learn it for yourself along the way. I hope we can teach you right from wrong. I hope you’re listening to our words and can feel every ounce of love we share for your sweet being. Here’s what I know, there are scary things and scary people and scary events in this world, but the scary never lasts. Good does. Always choose good. I think you will.

Your heart is so kind and loving. Take that into this world, my Ella. We all need more kindness and love. I truly believe those characteristics will bring you more joy and success than you can imagine for yourself. In the years ahead, you’ll doubt and wonder if you have what it takes. You’ll question your dreams and ambitions; you’ll wonder if you will succeed. 

The answer is simple, of course. I know you will, my darling. You will succeed, you will achieve greatness and you will be a success. Because, my baby girl, you already have. You’ve fulfilled my greatest dream just by being you. You are a gift to me and to anyone who is privileged to know you along this journey. 

Seven years ago, you gave me the greatest honor and the best title of them all – mom. It doesn’t matter what I achieve in this lifetime, no job or success or goal will ever be as great as being called your mother. Nothing. Of this I am certain. You and your sister bring more joy to my life than I ever knew possible. And as time passes, I know this love will expand to depths not yet discovered. What an honor it is to be your mom, what a joy it is to watch you grow. Stay kind, learn, grow, keep your faith strong and know you are loved beyond measure. 

Happy seventh birthday sweet girl! We love you now and forever. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

Stop Putting an Expiration Date on Making Memories

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and son in small train ride

We get 12 times to play Santa (if we’re lucky). This phrase stopped my scroll on a Sunday evening. I had an idea of the direction this post was going but I continued on reading. 12 spring breaks 12 easter baskets 20 tooth fairy visits 13 first days of school 1 first date 1-2 proms 1-2 times of seeing them in their graduation cap and gown 18 summers under the same roof And so on and so on. It was essentially another post listing the number of all the monumental moments that we, Lord willing, will get to experience with our...

Keep Reading

When Your Kids Ask, “Where Is God?”

In: Faith, Kids
Child looking at sunset

How do I know if the voice I’m hearing is God’s voice? When I was in high school, I found myself asking this question. My dad was a pastor, and I was feeling called to ministry. I didn’t know if I was just hearing my dad’s wish or the call of God. I was worried I was confusing the two. It turns out, I did know. I knew because I was raised to recognize the presence of God all around me. Once I knew what God’s presence felt like, I also knew what God’s voice sounded like. There is a...

Keep Reading

Go Easy On the Parents Who Refuse to Skip Naps

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two little boys and their sister walking down a gravel road, color photo

Greetings from a mom who is done with napping children. It’s great to have the flexibility during the day for longer activities, meeting friends for playdates, or day trips to faraway places. It’s a new life . . . the life without naps. The freedom to make plans and keep them. But not that long ago, I was something very different than the flexible, plan-keeping, up-for-it woman I am today. I used to be the mom who refused to skip my child’s nap. Yep, that one. Here’s the thing, for a lot of parents, It’s so much more than just a...

Keep Reading

My Heart Isn’t Ready for You to Stop Believing in Santa

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy standing in front of lit christmas tree

“My friend doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, Mom,” my son said out of the blue the other day. We were driving in the car, and when I met his gaze in the rear-view mirror his eyes searched mine. Immediately, my heart sank.  This sweet boy, he’s our first. Thoughtful and smart and eight years old. A quick Google search tells me that’s the average age kids stop believing in Santa, but as his mom, I’m not ready for that—not even a little bit.  I can still hear his barely 2-year-old voice going on about reindeer as we lay together on...

Keep Reading

Motherhood is a Million Little Letting Gos and Fresh Hellos

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with child on her lap by the setting sun and water

I missed my grocery-shopping buddy the other day. Mondays are usually the days my littlest and I knock out our grocery list. In the past, we’ve dropped the kids at school and then headed to the store. I grab a latte, and she chooses a hot chocolate. But that day, they were all in school. That day, she sat in her kindergarten class, and I went to the grocery store. Alone. A new rhythm. A changed routine. A different season. I listened to a podcast on the drive. My podcast. Then I grabbed a drink. Just one. I got the...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, This Is My Wish for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugs three kids

To my kids, The world you’re stepping into is unlike anything I experienced at your age. It’s fast-paced, interconnected, and sometimes overwhelming. But within this chaos lie countless opportunities for growth and joy. My wish for you is that you find the perfect balance between embracing the modern world and staying true to yourselves. Change is one thing you can always count on. Embrace it because it’s often the motivation for growth. Embracing change doesn’t mean letting go of who you are; rather, it’s about evolving into the best version of yourself. Remember, you don’t need to have all the...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Stay Wild

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach, color photo

I can’t really put my finger on it. Or manage to find all the words. But there’s just something about that girl. Maybe it’s the way her hair sits tangled. Curled up at the end. The way she moves. Dances. As if everyone was watching. Or no one at all. RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine It could be the way she smiles. With her heart. The way only she can. The way she cares, loves. For everyone. For herself. You see, she is beautiful in the way only wild things are. The way they...

Keep Reading

You’re Becoming a Big Sister, But You’ll Always Be My Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Pregnant woman with young daughter, color photo

The anticipation of welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting and joyous time for our family. From the moment we found out we were expecting to just about every day since, the love and excitement only continue to grow. However, amidst all the preparations for the new addition, I cannot help but have mixed emotions as I look back at old videos and pictures of my firstborn, my first princess, my Phoebe—for she will always hold a special place in my heart. As the anticipation grows, my heart swells with a mix of emotions knowing we are...

Keep Reading

Cowgirls Don’t Cry Unless the Horse They Loved Is Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Loss
Little girls Toy Story Jessie costume, color photo

The knee of my pants is wet and dirty. My yellow ring lays by the sink—it’s been my favorite ring for months. I bought it to match Bigfoot’s halter and the sunflowers by his pasture. Bigfoot is my daughter’s pony, and I loved him the most. The afternoon is so sunny. His hooves make the same calming rhythm I’ve come to love as I walk him out back. A strong wind blows through the barn. A stall labeled “Bigfoot,” adorned with a sunflower, hangs open and I feel sick. I kneel down by his side as he munches the grass....

Keep Reading

Let Them Wear the Costumes Whenever They Want

In: Kids
Kids in costumes walking around living room

I have five children. My oldest is 18, and my youngest is 8. Over the years, I have bought quite a few Halloween costumes. It always starts in late summer—the kids start getting excited about dressing up and want to start looking online for costumes because they want to make sure they’re delivered on time. As the kids have gotten older, a couple of them have even planned out costumes a few years in advance. It’s always fun watching their excitement, and it’s always fun “sharing” the candy with them. One of the things I’ve always done is allow them...

Keep Reading