So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I don’t know who said it but I’m not sure it matters: 

“She believed she could, so she did.”

This post serves as an important reminder. I’m just a blogger to you, but I can tell you one thing about yourself that you may not know. Yes, I’m talking to you. And this message comes directly from me, someone who was raised to never stop, to never listen to the nay-sayers, and to take constructive criticism, fix it, and do better next time. I was raised to believe in myself, but that didn’t stop others from telling me I couldn’t achieve my dreams. That didn’t stop me from wondering if I was good enough, smart enough, or if God loved me enough to help me make my dreams happen. I’m not perfect, but I work my butt off, I fight hard for what’s good and true, and I like it that way. I make mistakes, stick my foot in my mouth, and regret things I say and do from time to time, but I chalk it all up to learning and growing. Say sorry and get over it.

I know you have your own story and dreams, so I won’t bombard you with the details of mine. I’ll just give you a little info so you understand we all have challenges. We all have a story, obstacles to overcome, and people to prove wrong.

Use your challenges to make you stronger, work harder, and find your God-given journey.

At one time, my husband and I believed we were being punished, even believed our challenges, mainly depression and suicide attempts, were the worst things that ever could have happened to us. Now, we’ve shared our whole reality in our book, “Never Alone: A Husband and Wife’s Journey with Depression and Faith.” We learned we can’t help anyone if we stay quiet, if we stop fighting to understand our purpose and choose rather to just stay alive, rather than truly live. 

Do you trust in God enough to truly believe He will make your path open for your dreams to come true? If He’s putting it on your heart, He’ll help you make it happen. Trust Him. Trust your journey.

We don’t have it all figured out, but I will say we’ve never been happier having learned to find good in everything and believe in ourselves. Trust is a funny thing; it always comes down to faith.

Here are a few things to help you learn to believe in yourself and in your purpose.

1. Find your passion.

You probably already know what it is. If it’s your passion, figure out a way to make it your life. My passion is helping those who can’t easily help themselves, being a voice for others, and advocating for individuals with disabilities and mental illness. How am I making it my life? After taking a lot of leaps of faith, I’m almost a Doctor of Special Education (working hard on my own research dissertation now) and I just landed my dream job as a lecturer at the University of Nebraska at Kearney in the Teacher Education department. We also started a weekly support group for people suffering from mental illness or supporting a loved one.

2. Make it happen.

If there’s a will, there’s a way. We won’t talk about the balance of my student loans right now, but every time I start worrying about it, my husband reminds me that we can’t focus on that. There’s a reason student loan programs exist, and I’m trusting that God will make it good because I know my passion and my purpose. You can too.

3. Surround yourself with a fan club.

My husband and kids are the best cheerleaders I could ask for. While my leaps of faith have been hard for other friends and family members to understand, because of societal pressures like those pesky ideas of money and insurance, they eventually got on board. I had to defend decisions often, but that only prepared me to fight harder in other areas. I’m thankful for the opposition now, as getting my doctoral degree doesn’t come easy and I am having to fight for it.

4. Remember not everyone will agree with you.

We all have different passions; that’s healthy. My favorite saying right now is “Be nice or leave.” It’s true. Just be nice. Simple as that, and if those around you can’t grant you that respect, read number three above.

5. Grow your faith.

In your own way, grow your faith. I like Christian music, nature, my baths with a book, and my research. That’s how I connect with God, but you have your own way.

6. Think about how you’ll feel in 10 years.

Ten years from now, will you be pleased with the decisions you made to hold back, or will you wonder what would have happened had you decided to believe in yourself?

7. Remember, we are our own worst enemies.

We can do a lot of damage to ourselves by believing we aren’t good enough. If your primary support person isn’t so supportive, you’re going to have to work even harder, especially if someone is making you feel like you aren’t good enough. Yes, you are. Now prove it.

8. Be positive.

A positive attitude is, by far, the best defense you can have. There are many who will try to make you feel inferior, even throwing in little digs they just hope will get under your skin. Smile and walk away. Keep going. Achievement comes in many forms, and no form of achievement is better than another.

9. Remember your happiness will upset some.

This one is a hard one, but it’s also true of many humans. Some want to see you fail in order to make themselves feel better. Some get past it and grow up; some don’t. Be happy and spread goodness (shout out to Ashli with that line). Your happiness, positivity, and strength to persevere will help many…most you won’t even know until much later, if at all. Love to prove the haters wrong. 

10. Find your reason.

Why do you want this? What’s your driving force? For me, I wanted my kids to see me fight. I wanted them to see that education is important, but also that it means nothing unless you use that education for good. I wanted my boys to understand that good will come from terrible every time if you allow yourself to trust in His plan and His good. I wanted my husband to be able to truly understand his brain and what his mental illness was doing to him, that it wasn’t his fault. I wanted to help many in many ways.

11. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.

This is probably the most important. Remember we all make mistakes, but I once heard someone say to another, “Don’t act like an a**hole and then go sit in church and act like you’re better than everyone else!” Really? Is that what you think of Christians? I’m sorry you’ve been made to feel that way, but it sounds to me like your faith has been in people and not in Jesus. Put your faith in Him. Thank God I now understand that Christians aren’t perfect humans who make all the right decisions all the time. I’m forgiven because I have a Savior, and so are you. Forgiving myself has been harder, but it comes in time. Forgive yourself.

If you can’t tell, I believe we all have a purpose. My husband is literally on life number eight. After six suicide attempts, a near-death car accident, and a heart attack, God has made it clear He’s not done with Jeremy yet. We work better together, so we aren’t done yet. What’s your passion and purpose? Now go for it because you can.

Bailey Koch

Bailey Koch is an advocate for those who can't easily advocate for themselves in every way. Married to her hottie hubby, whom has survived 5+ suicide attempts, and mom to two teenage boys, the oldest with High Functioning Autism and youngest with Epilepsy, Bailey is passionate about mental health and parenting through the messy realities. Additionally, Bailey is a Doctor of Special Education and works as an instructor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney preparing future special educators to be advocates for the learning of all. Bailey and her husband, Jeremy, have written and published two books. "Never Alone: A Husband and Wife's Journey with Depression and Faith" details their struggles with severe depression and the journey toward understanding their purpose, accepting help, and finding faith. "When the House Feels Sad: Helping You Understand Depression" is written for families, at a child's level, to open up a conversation about the reality of Depression. Follow their journey, the triumphs and the challenges, on Facebook at and Instagram at @anchoringhopeformentalhealth.

Dear Introverted Mom, Take that Break

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman outside with book and food

I am alone, in a hotel room, 20 minutes from home, lying back in the crisp bed, feet propped up on billowing white pillows. A good book is in my hand. The large window beside me overlooks the Mississippi River as the sun slowly sets and people unwind for a southern Louisiana evening in downtown Baton Rouge. I’ll probably order room service for dinner. I spent the afternoon at the coffee shop across the street, sipping on a deliciously caffeinated beverage carefully made to my liking. I ate a delicate snack filled with fruits, fancy lettuce, and expensive cheese while...

Keep Reading

As an Anxious Mom, I Remind Myself You Were God’s Child First

In: Faith, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping

I remember bringing that squishy baby home from the hospital. His 9-pound birth weight didn’t label him as scrawny by any means, but he was so small to us. I cringed the first time I laid him in the bassinet beside my bed. I wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on him all night long like the nurses in the hospital nursery. I couldn’t make sure he was breathing every second of my coveted slumber. To calm my worries, we turned on our bathroom light and left the door wide open. The extra light wouldn’t disturb our angel from...

Keep Reading

Home is Holy Ground

In: Faith, Motherhood
Kids and mom at home

Some days, I wake up and walk around my house feeling my chest rise looking at the chaotic mess I didn’t get done the day before.  Trampling over toys, incomplete laundry, and dishes that seem to load up by the end of the day. I pause, I stare, and I wonder which of the objects in each room I should tackle first. I take a deep breath and notice my heart and my mind are overwhelmed with a running checklist. Why can’t everything just get done all at one time? You can talk to a dozen mothers and I am...

Keep Reading

I Want My Kids To Know God’s Always There

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding cross in the palm of her hand, color photo

A few months ago, my friend lost his dad. And it impacted our community profoundly. Because he loved SO BIG. Everywhere he went, he couldn’t help but talk to and engage with people—sharing a joke to make them smile or offering a compliment to build them up. He was a connector. And in all the connecting he did, he was quick to remind everyone he encountered that our hearts are ever connected to a God who loves us. It had become his thing to pass out little wooden crosses to those he happily chatted up as he went about each...

Keep Reading

In Motherhood, Grace Makes up the Difference

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young child

Today, I have been the mean mom, the tired mom, the overwhelmed mom, the anxious mom, the impatient mom, and the want to turn in my mom card mom. Mostly, I’ve felt like the I have no clue what I’m doing mom. I have raised my voice 47 times, told children to “suck it up, buttercup” 36 times, and have intervened in approximately 83 sibling disagreements. I have rolled my eyes 59 times, sighed 148 times, and visibly showed other signs of impatience, well, way too many times. RELATED: I’m a Good Mom, You Just Caught Me in a Bad...

Keep Reading

Dear Child, God Sees All of You—And So Do I

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mom and young son painting together

Math has always come easily to him. Even from the beginning stages when we counted wooden blocks on the living room floor, the numbers just came to him. “How many blocks are there?” I asked him, pointing to the scattered row of blocks. I expected him to count them. He was only three or four years old. “Six,” he answered promptly. “Yes . . . but how did you know that?” I asked hesitantly. He had not taken the time necessary to have counted them. “Three and three are six,” he replied. And on it went. The math came easily,...

Keep Reading

Jesus Meets Me in Motherhood With His No Matter What Love

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother embracing daughter in sunlit room

My toddler was that kid on the playground—the one who would push and bite, erupting into a tantrum and needing to be carried home screaming. As I would carry my child to the car, the other moms looked at me with sympathy, confusion, fear, and . . . judgment.  Parents of challenging kids know this look well. We see judgment everywhere we go. I knew others were judging me, and I knew our challenges were beyond the normal bell curve, but as an overwhelmed young mom, I did all I knew to do: I blamed myself.  At my lowest, I...

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

A Mother’s Love Is an Endless Pursuit

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child on bike, color photo

I look at him and my heart breaks into a million little pieces. It simply hurts too much to know he hurts. He is my heart, and it squeezes and revolts when he struggles. I want to close my eyes and hold him close, and when I resurface, I want the world to be different for him. Look different, smell different, taste different. But, it remains the same, this pain.   In the beginning, when he was in my womb, I held my hands on my stomach and his tiny feet kicked me back. His bodily imprint on my skin. He...

Keep Reading

Motherhood Brings Me to the Floor and Jesus Meets Me There

In: Faith, Motherhood

I recently came across a short memoir writing competition with the theme, “Places that have made me, changed me, or inspired me.” I could write something for that, I thought. I’m by no means a jet-setter, but I do have a passport. I spent my 16th birthday in Russia on a three-week mission trip. During college, I lived in Thessaloniki, Greece for a four-month study abroad program. After my British husband and I got married, we settled in the UK, where we’ve spent the last 10 years. And now, I’m back in my sunny Florida hometown. These experiences and places...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids


Proven techniques to build REAL connections