It was one of those moments – a life changing minute, a severe eye opener, a shocking self realization. The anger boiled up in me; anger that I did not even know existed. Anger that came from a  dark, sinful place. Let me fill you in.

Waiting at the cash register to purchase clothes for my husband and two daughters, my toddler came running up to me. I greeted her with a bright ‘Hi!’ and a smile as she giggled and then ran off again. I looked up and saw my husband standing at the other end of the store, assuming that he was watching her come to him. Confident that he had her, I brought my attention back to the cashier to finish the payment. Placing the bag of clothes in my stroller I looked around for my husband. 

There he was. Alone. 

“Where’s Emelyn?” We both said at almost the exact same time. 

“I thought she was with you!” He said. 

“She ran back to you!”  I exclaimed, panic starting to attack me.

We rushed around the store, moving our eyes faster than our brains could keep up with. Within one minute I heard my sweet Emelyn yelling in a sing-song voice across the store “Maamaa!” I ran to her voice and my husband picked her up as fast as he could. 

Then came the snarky, harsh comment. “You need to keep a better eye on her.” And that is when I could feel it begin to boil – that deep anger. 

Before thinking, I walked fast to the lady and her daughter across the mall. Before thinking, I began to spew out words – words with anger, resentment, frustration and sadness. Before thinking, I talked back in a hateful tone. Before even thinking. 

Let alone praying.

The anger may have come from the lady’s judgment upon my husband and I, someone who didn’t know us in the slightest. The anger may have come from a place of panic from losing my own precious daughter. Either way, it over took me and I let it. 

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says ‘Pray Continually.’  Continually.  One definition of this word is ‘without interruption; constantly.’  Everything we do must be preceded by prayer. And why? Because prayer helps us to be in alignment with Gods will and desire for us, His beloved people. Prayer keeps us on the path of righteousness. Prayer alters attitudes, changes mindsets, and softens hearts. 

Without prayer, we allow feelings like our resentment and anger take over. We allow moments and circumstances to decide how we react. We choose to react with our emotions, our emotions that come from our sinful hearts, rather than think and act in a way that is pleasing to God, in a way that is loving. I could have used such an opportunity to show God’s love simply by the way I acted within the situation – yet instead I did the opposite. The funny thing is, I have prayed for God to give me such moments… moments to be a light for His love. Yet within those moments I forget the need to go back to Him again. Because I can’t do it on my own. I need HIS strength. Continually.

I regret talking to that lady in the mall in the tone I did. I regret allowing her comment to get to me the way that it did. But above all, I regret not praying before my actions – which I know would have changed my mindset and my reaction completely.

The importance of being in constant prayer with my Savior is so incredibly clear to me. And yet, I am failing. Failing hard. 

Thank God for grace. I need it more than ever. Instead of choosing to stay in this state of guilt and frustration over the situation, I will give it all to God. And then? I will keep praying. I will keep praying for help to keep praying. And then I will pray some more. Because prayer. Prayer changes our hearts; Prayer changes everything.

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

Esther Vandersluis

Esther is a Canadian writing from Hamilton, Ontario, living in a sea of pink as a girl mom to three. Find her on Facebook ( where you will find writing for stay-at-home moms, moms with littles, sleep-deprived moms, moms feeding babies, and babies with failure to thrive, all under the umbrella of faith in Jesus Christ.

I Had to Learn to Say “I’m Sorry” to My Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom hugs tween daughter

My two oldest kiddos are at the front end of their teen years. I remember that time in my own life. I was loud, somewhat dramatic, I let my hormones control me, and I never—ever—apologized. This last part was because no one ever really taught me the value of apology or relationship repair. Now, I could do some parent blaming here but let’s be real, if you were a kid whose formative years were scattered between the late ’80s and early ’90s, did you get apologies from your parents? If so, count that blessing! Most parents were still living with...

Keep Reading

5 Things Your Child’s Kindergarten Teacher Wants You To Know

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child raising hand in kindergarten class

I am a teacher. I have committed my life to teaching children. Of course, before I began this career, I had visions of standing in front of a group of eager-eyed children and elaborating on history, science, and math lessons. I couldn’t wait to see the “lightbulb” moments when students finally understood a reading passage or wrote their first paper. And then I had my first day. Children are not cut out of a textbook (shocking, I know) but as a young 23-year-old, it knocked me right off my feet. I was thrown into the lion’s den, better known as...

Keep Reading

To the Extended Family That Shows Up: We Couldn’t Do This Without You

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Family visiting new baby in a hospital room

This picture—my heart all but bursts every time I see it.  It was taken five years ago on the day our daughter was born. In it, my husband is giving her her very first bath while our proud extended family looks on. It was a sweet moment on a hugely special day, but gosh–what was captured in this photo is so much more than that. This photo represents everything I could have ever hoped for my kids: That they would have an extended family who shows up in their lives and loves them so deeply.  That they would have grandparents,...

Keep Reading

You’re Almost Grown, But You’re Always Welcome Back Home

In: Kids, Motherhood
Teen in room studying with computer and smartphone

Dear child, In the days before you could walk or talk, there were times when you would wail—when my rocking and shushing and bouncing were seemingly futile—but it didn’t matter. Each day and night, multiple times, I always picked you up and welcomed you back into my arms. As a toddler and a preschooler, you had some pretty epic meltdowns. There were times when you would thrash and scream, and all I could do was stand by and wait for the storm to blow over. Eventually, you would run to me, and I would welcome you back with a warm embrace....

Keep Reading

No One Warned Me About the Last Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn baby, black-and-white photo

No one warned me about the last baby. When I had my first, my second, and my third, those first years were blurry from sleep deprivation and chaos from juggling multiple itty-bitties. But the last baby? There’s a desperation in that newborn fog to soak it up because there won’t be another. No one warned me about the last baby. Selling the baby swing and donating old toys because we wouldn’t need them crushed me. I cried selling our double jogger and thought my heart would split in two when I dropped off newborn clothes. Throwing out pacifiers and bottles...

Keep Reading

Parents Are Terrible Salespeople for Parenting

In: Kids, Motherhood
Tired mother with coffee cup on table, child sitting next to her

As the years of fertility start to wane, many of my childless peers are confronted with the question, “Should I have kids?” With hesitation, they turn to us parents who, frankly, seem overwhelmingly unhappy. They ask sheepishly, “Is it worth it?” We lift our heads up, bedraggled, bags under our eyes, covered in boogers and sweat and spit up, we mutter, “Of course! It’s so fulfilling!” It’s like asking a hostage if they like their captor. Sure, it’s great. We love them. But our eyes are begging for liberation. Save me, please. I haven’t slept through the night in years....

Keep Reading

Soak in the Moments because Babies Don’t Keep

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Roller coaster photo, color photo

I love marking the moments, the ones that count—making a note and storing them for memory. But I often miss out on them when it comes to our oldest. ⁣ ⁣The day he wanted to be baptized, I was at home with another kiddo who was sick. He called me from church excitedly, emphasizing he was ready and didn’t want to wait. I couldn’t argue with that, so I watched him go underwater through videos my husband and sweet friends in the congregation took. ⁣ ⁣On the day of his fifth-grade graduation, we found ourselves at the pediatrician’s office. Instead...

Keep Reading

Sometimes a Kid Just Needs a Sick Day

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy outside, color photo

My middle son stayed home from school today. He said he was sick. I’m not sure that is the truth. I was lucky enough to have a mom who was an amazing caretaker, especially when you were sick. She pulled out all the stops. A cozy clean space to be, a thermos with ice cold juice by your side, Mrs. Grass’s soup, and Days of Our Lives on the screen while she tidied up the house. It was the best feeling in the world to be home and cozy with my mom when I was sick. It felt cozy and...

Keep Reading

Sometimes We Need Someone to Just Sit With Us in Our Struggle

In: Kids, Motherhood
Sad woman sits on floor, black and white image

Early this morning, I told (yelled is more accurate) my sons to get up with the same furious ferocity I use every morning when I realize they should be ready to go, but are still unconsciously snoozing away. One son lazily said, “I’m up, Mom” (even though he was very much not up). The other son, who typically has no problems getting up, had overslept and immediately freaked out, thinking he would be late to school. He proceeded to have a mini-meltdown from the dark recesses of his bedroom. That overflowed into the hallway where I found him lying face-down,...

Keep Reading

Daughter of Mine, Do Not Let the World Extinguish Your Fire

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young daughter, color photo

Daughter of mine, I see the fire behind your eyes. Do not let it die. Daughter of mine who runs wildly and loves freely and whose anger is always whipping silently just under the surface like a pilot light, ready to ignite with one tiny spark. Do not let it die. RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine Daughter of mine, one day you will become a woman, and the world will try to steal you and mold you and tell you who to become. Do not let it. It will try to fit you in...

Keep Reading