So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I visited my friend in Cincinnati for the weekend. We had a wonderful time. We took our kids to the zoo. We ate massive amounts of Thai food and even splurged for our favorite hot fudge sundae’s- extra scoop of ice cream and without fail, extra (extra) hot fudge!

I mean come on, it’s not every day I see my best friend and eat foods I once took for granted. But now I live in a land far away (okay it’s not that far) but still, where I live, there is no Thai food and there is most definitely not my favorite hot fudge sundae!

The weekends with her always whiz by!

I packed my bags and tried avoiding the inevitable good-bye.

My shoes were not exactly convenient so I asked to borrow a pair of my friend’s flip-flops. You know the ones you can get from Old Navy for a dollar? Those were the ones.

I love a good pair of flip-flops and since I was just going out to the car to load up and secure the car-seat, I thought it would be easier than maneuvering into my boots.

I headed out to the car, but with each step I took, my feet hurt a little more. The shoes were perfectly molded to fit my friend’s feet. And my feet were most definitely not fitting into the mold!

I limped back into the house and slid out of the shoes quicker than I eat so as to avoid sharing food with my kids. (I know, I’m a mean mom.)

I wondered if it wouldn’t have been easier to take the time to put my own shoes on. I certainly would have been more comfortable and it may have taken less time because I wouldn’t have been wincing in pain with each flip and flop.

Isn’t it funny how life works?

We are constantly looking at the people around us, wanting what they have, envying someone else’s success, wondering why we couldn’t have been gifted with certain talents.

I find myself doing it far more frequently than I care to admit. I get caught up in the comparison game. I see what others have and I wonder why I can’t have it as well. I see other women with successful blogs or businesses and I wonder how they got there and when it will be my time.

As I walked around in my friend’s shoes, I was struck by the reality the shoe didn’t fit, because it wasn’t my shoe.

I tend to view life the same way.

Perhaps we are looking at others and wanting what they have, but truthfully it’s not meant for us. The shoe isn’t molded to fit us. We are all uniquely and beautifully designed by our Heavenly Father. He created each of us with a specific purpose. It is not for us to envy what others have or wish we had certain talents.

No, God designed you perfectly. He designed you with great intent. He designed you with purpose. It is our job to seek His will and fulfill the purpose He has laid out for us.

As women and mothers, it is crucial for us to put our comparisons aside and realize we all have one beautiful thing in common. We are daughters of the most amazing Father. He is ready to prune us and sculpt us to be the women He has called us to be.

I want to make a concerted effort to celebrate my fellow sisters in their calling. I don’t want to have envy or wish for x, y, and z talents. I want to be confident in who I am and the gifts I have been given. I want to break out of my fear zone and maximize my potential because of who He made me to be!

Shandyn Paul

Shandyn Paul is blogger and Christian writer who lives in a small town in Ohio. She is married to her best friend and biggest supporter, David. Together they have two boys, who keep life busy and interesting. She started writing her blog, because of a calling she felt from God during a 2am feeding session with her youngest son in 2015. She took a leap of faith and has been writing ever since. Her hope is to encourage and inspire others through God's Word.

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

10 Tips to Banish Teenage FOMO

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen with red hair smiling

Do you ever feel like the whole world is having a party—and you weren’t invited Maybe you worry about being included in the right groups or invited to the right sleepovers. Maybe you envy the relationships you see at school or youth group or feel jealous of the perfect social media posts showing others making memories together. If you’re a teen in 2022, you’re probably well acquainted with the fear of missing out. Knowing or wondering what you’re missing or who is getting together without you can leave you feeling lonely. It can leave you lonely and a little blue....

Keep Reading

I’m So Thankful For This Little Family

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Toddler boy and infant girl, color photo

I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, and praying for a life like I have now. Praying for a man to love me, to be loyal to me, to want a family with me, to provide for me, to show me what stability felt like and what it felt like to not ever have to worry . . . and here he is right in front of me. I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, praying for a house I could make a home and raise my family in. Here it is right in front of me. But most of...

Keep Reading

How I Like My Coffee

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter drink coffee

I like my coffee with hazelnut creamer and a dash of almond milk. I like my coffee cold and neglected on the countertop because I’m busy soothing my new baby boy, the one who has made me a mother. In my long robe and slippers, I pace the kitchen floor and hold my swaddled son close to my heart. When his fussing grows quiet, I can hear the ticking of the big clock in the den. The dawn slowly reveals itself, brightening the kitchen in increments. It’s hard to imagine keeping my eyes open until he’s ready to nap again....

Keep Reading

Compassion Holds My Heart

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Child hugging mother

I lean my head in through the window of his van. The first thing I notice is the funny smell. Like cigarettes. And maybe body odor. The second? His tired, wrinkle-lined eyes. They’re dull, lethargic even. My daughter scrunches up her nose. I give her that look and try to hide my own misgivings. But Compassion climbs in the car with me.  And as the taxi driver guides the car toward our destination, I ask him about his story. Turns out he’s been driving all night. Till 5:30 this morning. Taking people home who were too drunk to drive themselves....

Keep Reading

I Was the Girl Who Ran Away From God

In: Faith
Woman standing in grass, black-and-white photo

I was the girl. I was the girl who’d do anything to get high as a teenager. I was the girl who craved love and just wanted to be wanted. I was the girl who wasn’t afraid of anything. I was the girl who stopped believing there was a God. I was the girl who said I would never go back to church. I was the girl who was certain none of it was real anyway because I was wasting my time going places like that. I was the girl who let the heartache and disappointment of this old world...

Keep Reading

I Prayed for You Before I Knew You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, color photo

Baby, I have prayed for you—even before I knew who you would be.  I prayed I would be a mom one day when I was too little to know what I was praying for and again when I really thought my body would not be able to carry a baby. I prayed for you.  I prayed every day as you grew in my belly that you would be healthy, happy, and strong.  I prayed at every doctor’s appointment and scan that I would hear your heartbeat loud and strong.  I prayed for your arrival—for you to be safe and for...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, I Miss You

In: Faith, Grief
Grown woman and her mother, color photo

Dear Mom, Yesterday I went over to your house. I was hoping you would open the door, but Daddy greeted me with his sweet smile. Yes, he still has a mustache. The one you hate, but I did manage to trim it up for him. I cut his hair too.   We talked about you over coffee and waited for you to join us, but you never did. He’s doing his best to do this life without you in it, but his eyes are clouded with memories and mixed with pain. He misses you, Momma. RELATED: I Didn’t Just Lose...

Keep Reading

Spaghetti Sauce Faith

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Mother and little girl holding a bowl of spaghetti, color photo

It was Sunday afternoon, and I was loading my grocery cart higher than I ever had in my life. My husband and I, along with our two kids under two years old, had been living with his parents for three months. We moved from our Florida home to look for a house in Georgia, and they graciously took us in. This was the day I loaded up on groceries—filling an empty refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. My shopping list was all the things. I needed to buy the smallest of table ingredients like salt and garlic powder to the big things...

Keep Reading

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

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!


Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime