Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

For our honeymoon, my husband and I had the privilege of traveling to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Neither of us had ever spent a great deal of time at the beach (ya know, being from Nebraska and all) so we were really excited to try out snorkeling. We found a hideaway beach and rented gear from some local man who set up shop in the sand and quickly dove into the water to try out our new fins. I felt clumsy and awkward, but most of all, I was nervous. Usually, I jump at the chance to try something new or raise my hand to be a volunteer but in this situation, I was in over my head… literally.

I handled myself  fairly well where I could see the sandy bottom. The fish were tiny and cute and I had the security of being able to stand up in the water. I would have been completely content to stay there, dunking my head in the water and looking at those small fluttering fish, but then my new husband called out to me. He had gone out quite a bit further and excitedly called, “Danell! You have to come out here – the fish are amazing!!” Being the dutiful new Mrs., I started to swim to him. My fish were so cute, but he promised something even better. However, a few feet in front of me was a drop-off and instead of being able to see the safe, sandy bottom, all I could see was darkness and I was terrified. As soon as I swam past the drop-off, I began to have a mini panic attack and fear pulsed through me. I never saw those amazing fish my husband exclaimed about because I immediately turned back to the beach and returned my fins.

Once again, I feel like I’m at the edge of that dreadful drop-off. In a year I will finally be done with my Master’s degree and will be walking across the stage to receive my diploma – something I have dreamt about my entire life. My family has sacrificed too much for me to even list (and if I did, I would end up ugly-weeping all over my keyboard) and I’ve been incomprehensibly challenged in all aspects of my life. My husband and I both feel that God has called us to be in this position and for me to get this degree… we just don’t know why yet, and that’s scary. My future, and the future of my family, is that big, deep, terrifying drop-off. We have no 5-year plan other than to trust and wait upon the Lord. I know, I know… it’s still a year away, but I’m a planner – a BIG planner and I feel so completely out of my element.

I can see God out there – where my husband was, motioning for me to leave the safety of the sandy bottom. I imagine He’s saying, ” Come here Danell!! Come see all the wonderful things I have planned for you! You’ll be amazed!” But, oh boy, it’s so much easier  to stand at the edge of the drop-off then to plunge into the unknown.

Lately I have been turning Hillsong’s song ‘Oceans’ into my prayer:

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

 I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine 

I hope that when the time comes, my faith will overcome my lack of courage and that I can swiftly swim past that overwhelmingly scary drop-off into the wonderment that awaits… I’ll still be trembling, but this time I don’t want to miss out on all those beautiful fish!

So, are any of you dealing with some drop-offs? I’d love to hear about them and how you are gaining the courage to start swimming!

Read more from Danell on her site Pieces of Me

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

Her View From Home

Millions of mothers connected by love, friendship, family and faith. Join our growing community. 1,000+ writers strong. We pay too!   Find more information on how you can become a writer on Her View From Home at https://herviewfromhome.com/contact-us/write-for-her//

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