Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Sometimes I’m a really crappy mom.

Before some sweet soul rushes to my defense, or reminds me we all have bad days, or worries I’m holding myself to the impossibly high standards that inundate our judgemental society, hear me out.

I am not lamenting over the fact that I never do crafts with my kids, or that I probably let them watch too much TV, or that they have less-than-ideal diets. I don’t feel guilt over the fact that my home-management skills are sub par or that my kids only get un-Pinterest worthy birthday parties every other year. I’m not ashamed that I breathe a sigh of relief after corralling all the kids into bed every night, and have no aspirations to become some idealized version of “supermom”. I unabashedly admit that raising these three kids sometimes feels like drowning and that my two- and three-year-old are making me go gray even though I’m only 29. None of these things make me a crappy mom.

But my sin sometimes does.

Sometimes, when the peace I crave is interrupted by sibling squabbles, I retaliate with a raised voice intended to startle rather than subdue.

Sometimes, when the same question is asked for the umpteenth time, I amplify my annoyance rather than helping them understand my answer.

Sometimes, when they accidentally spill their bowl of cereal on the floor, I scowl at them and swear under my breath instead of reminding them that it’s ok to make mistakes.

Sometimes, when they desperately need a hug to help them calm down after a tantrum, I brush their reaching arms away and withhold forgiveness and affection.

And sometimes, all these things happen on the same day. And I hate it. I don’t want to be a crappy mom. I don’t want my children growing up with the sound of yelling reverberating in their ears. I don’t want them filled with painful memories of my withdrawal. I don’t want them feeling like they need to earn my forgiveness and love. I want my children to experience unconditional love, unending grace, and unrelenting patience.

But even on these days that I fail so miserably, I have every reason to hope.

The same Savior who looked upon a storm and calmed the raging waves, has the power to calm my raging heart. When I am filled with anger, He can fill me with grace. When I am bitter, He can empower my forgiveness. When I am annoyed, He can make me patient. When I covet peace and quiet, He can strengthen me to be a peacemaker to my 3 little destroyers of quiet.

And when I fail in ALL of these things—and I will, probably tomorrow—I can remember the most glorious truth that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Every failure of my mothering has been covered by His grace. And it is this truth that helps me not wallow in self-pity, but look towards tomorrow in hope, knowing I already have victory in Him. And this isn’t just my hope for tomorrow, but my children’s hope as well.

Because even as Christ transforms me into a less-crappy mother, I can never love them in the fullness they need. But I can introduce them to Jesus, whose love, grace, and patience is infinite and unchanging. He is everything for them that I can’t be.

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

Amy Dimarcangelo

Amy is a wife, mom of three, and taco enthusiast from New Jersey. She co-leads mercy ministry outreach at her church and works part-time teaching children diagnosed with autism. You can find more of her writing on her blog or follow her on Facebook.

Going to Church with Kids is Hard but We’ll Keep Showing Up

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young daughter in church

Going to church is hard with young kids. It used to be something I looked forward to. It’s something I’ve always valued deeply and needed desperately. It’s the one place that will always be home regardless of what location or building it’s in or what people attend. Church is my sanctuary. But it’s become a battle with the kids’ resistance, my tired mind and body, and my lack of ability to actually listen to the sermon. Going to church is hard with young kids. It’s become normal for me to lie down in bed on Saturday night thinking, with dread,...

Keep Reading

I’m Praying for My Teenager in These Challenging Years

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy holding a smartphone and wearing headphones

In my mid-40s, I began to long for a baby. We didn’t get much encouragement from friends and family. My husband is a high-functioning quadriplegic, and I was considered way too old to start a family. But our marriage was stable, we were used to obstacles, we were financially prepared, emotionally experienced, and our careers were established. I began to paint my own sublime mental portrait of parenting tranquility. What could go wrong? At 48, I delivered a healthy baby boy, and he was perfect. We adored him. The baby we had longed for and prayed for, we had. And...

Keep Reading

When Motherhood Feels Like a Limitation

In: Faith, Motherhood
Ruth Chou Simons holding book

Twenty-one years ago, my husband Troy and I welcomed our first son into the world. Two years later, I gave birth to another boy. And again two years later, and again two years after that. A fifth boy joined our family another two years later, and a final son was born 11 years after we began our parenting journey. If you were counting, you’re not mistaken—that’s six sons in just over a decade. We were overjoyed and more than a little exhausted. I remember feeling frustrated with the limitations of the little years with young children when I was a...

Keep Reading

The Day My Mother Died I Thought My Faith Did Too

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Holding older woman's hand

She left this world with an endless faith while mine became broken and shattered. She taught me to believe in God’s love and his faithfulness. But in losing her, I couldn’t feel it so I believed it to be nonexistent. I felt alone in ways like I’d never known before. I felt helpless and hopeless. I felt like He had abandoned my mother and betrayed me by taking her too soon. He didn’t feel near the brokenhearted. He felt invisible and unreal. The day my mother died I felt alone and faithless while still clinging to her belief of heaven....

Keep Reading

Jesus Meets Me in the Pew

In: Faith
Woman sitting in church pew

I entered the church sanctuary a woman with a hurting and heavy heart. Too many worries on my mind, some unkind words spoken at home, and not enough love wrapped around my shoulders were getting the best of me. What I longed to find was Jesus in a rocking chair, extending His arms to me, welcoming me into his lap, and inviting me to exhaust myself into Him. I sought out an empty pew where I could hide in anonymity, where I could read my bulletin if I didn’t feel like listening to the announcements, sing if I felt up...

Keep Reading

Can I Still Trust Jesus after Losing My Child?

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Sad woman with hands on face

Everyone knows there is a time to be born and a time to die. We expect both of those unavoidable events in our lives, but we don’t expect them to come just 1342 days apart. For my baby daughter, cancer decided that the number of her days would be so many fewer than the hopeful expectation my heart held as her mama. I had dreams that began the moment the two pink lines faintly appeared on the early morning pregnancy test. I had hopes that grew with every sneak peek provided during my many routine ultrasounds. I had formed a...

Keep Reading

5 Kids in the Bible Who Will Inspire Yours

In: Faith, Kids
Little girl reading from Bible

Gathering my kids for morning Bible study has become our family’s cornerstone, a time not just for spiritual growth but for real, hearty conversations about life, courage, and making a difference. It’s not perfect, but it’s ours. My oldest, who’s 11, is at that age where he’s just beginning to understand the weight of his actions and decisions. He’s eager, yet unsure, about his ability to influence his world. It’s a big deal for him, and frankly, for me too. I want him to know, deeply know, that his choices matter, that he can be a force for good, just...

Keep Reading

Mad Martha, Mary, Mom, and Me

In: Faith, Living
Woman wrapped in a blanket standing by water

As a brand-new, born-again, un-churched Christian fresh in my new faith with zero knowledge of the Bible, I am steaming, hissing mad when I first read these words from Luke 10:38-42: “Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Pray away My Anxiety But I Can Trust God to Hold Me through It

In: Faith, Living
Woman with flowers in field

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t afraid. I was scared of people, of speaking, and even of being looked at. As I got older, I worried about everything. I was aware of the physical impact that stress and worry have on our bodies and our mental health, but I couldn’t break the cycle. I declined invitations and stuck with what I knew. Then we had a child who knew no fear. The person I needed to protect and nurture was vulnerable. There was danger in everything. It got worse. He grew older and more independent. He became a...

Keep Reading

Your Kids Don’t Need More Things, They Need More You

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young girl smiling together at home

He reached for my hand and then looked up. His sweet smile and lingering gaze flooded my weary heart with much-needed peace. “Thank you for taking me to the library, Mommy! It’s like we’re on a date! I like it when it’s just the two of us.” We entered the library, hand in hand, and headed toward the LEGO table. As I began gathering books nearby, I was surprised to feel my son’s arms around me. He gave me a quick squeeze and a kiss with an “I love you, Mommy” before returning to his LEGO—three separate times. My typically...

Keep Reading