‘Twas the night before 2020 Christmas and all through the halls,

Frustration, wrapping paper, Scotch tape rolled in balls.

The stockings were hung, the cookies were gone. 

Mom sighed with weariness as Dad looked on.

Mom rubbed her eyes because she was tired

The kids had eaten lots of sweets, they were wired.

The toddler had pulled out the skirt from under the tree that day,

And the baby had thrown all of Jesus’ hay. 

RELATED: Your Kids Will Remember How Christmas Felt Not How It Looked

She got too caught up in the work of the season,

That she often forgot, of Yuletide’s true reason.

Mom was overworked, as moms are at this time of year

Too many carols, cookies, and decorations, I fear.

Every year, this would happen, and it was her own fault,

Amid the cookies, eggnog, and chocolate malt.

And this year it was sad, it was worse.

Even though there was no pageant to rehearse.

Families weren’t together, traveling was shot.

Mom wanted to scream, “I’d just rather not!”

Was that sniffle, a cold, or perhaps something more grim?

She nervously adjusted a red piece of trim.

She felt she had to make up for some reason,

All the things that her kids would be missing this season.

Things just had to be perfect, they had to be right,

Before she would lay down her head that night.

RELATED: We Are All the Little Drummer Boy This Christmas

But finally, relief came from her spouse,

As he looked around at the tree, at the house.

“You know, if you did none of this, you would be fine.

Even if Amazon didn’t come on time.

Christmas isn’t about gifts, even though they’re nice.

It’s not about the tree, the snow, or the ice.

It’s not a competition, to see which house is the nicest,

Or even which tree, which colors are brightest.

The true reason for Christmas, came long, long ago,

When a baby was born in a stable, humble and low.

Chin up my girl, there’s still reason to hope.

Try to be happy and try not to mope.

Why this year we will see a sign in the sky,

Perhaps the same one that the Magi walked by.

RELATED: Jupiter and Saturn Will Align To Give Us the First Christmas Star in 800 Years

I know lots of things that are hard have happened this year,

And some of them are almost too much to bear.

But we have to wait, to have love, to stand firm,

And eventually, we will come to term.

With those things that are hard and that make us want to shout,

With those things that make our little ones pout.

But remember this too, my beloved one, 

God endured too, the death of His Son.

And Christ was born in a stable, the cold.

How much harder is that than the plans put on hold?”

When Dad stopped talking, Mom sat very still,

She taped one last piece of paper and adjusted a frill.

Things didn’t need to be perfect, Mom had forgotten Christmas’ meaning.

As she sat by the tree, its lights softly gleaming,

She realized Dad was right, she had got too caught up in her head.

Mom breathed a quick prayer of thanks, and then went to bed.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Amy Gray

Amy Gray is a 20-something heart mom, living somewhere on the east coast. When she is not trying to stop the toddler from leaping off the couch, or her other children from mooching her snacks, she enjoys coffee, sci-fi tv shows, and sending hilarious messages on the family chat at mostly appropriate times.

Once Upon a Time You Got All of Me

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife on wedding day, color photo

First there was us, and now it’s them. We have four little hands that need us, and it’s so hard to get lost in parenthood and forget that at once upon a time it was me and you. I promise you, it won’t always be like this. It won’t always be this hard. I remember when we would go for leisurely walks and long Sunday brunches. Now it takes us an hour to leave the house for a 15-minute walk. I want so badly to spend hours lying in bed, talking like we used to, but now I’m so tired...

Keep Reading

I Was Raised by an Easter-Only Mom and I Want More for My Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter read Bible

Motherhood is not for the faint-hearted, and women tend to look to their upbringing for guidance. We may not even realize we’re doing it! But being a godly mother is even more difficult when you weren’t raised by one. The questions are endless: How do I model forgiveness? How do I set the right priorities for my household? How do I explain baptism to my 6-year-old? Is it okay to have undiscipled friends around my children? Do we have to pray over every meal? Is the occasional swear word acceptable?  These questions may be less intimidating if you were fortunate enough...

Keep Reading

We’ll Get Through Daddy’s Deployment Together

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother, father, daughter selfie, color photo

“I didn’t think we did that anymore.” I wish I could attribute that to one person, but I’ve heard it from multiple people when I’ve mentioned that my pilot-soldier National Guard husband is deploying overseas. Yes, we still do that. Men and women still suit up every day to carry out various missions, both valuable and confusing, around the country and the world. And for the whole of 2023 that includes my husband. My partner, my co-adventurer. The one who will use our flight and hotel benefits from his day job to visit Hawaii for three days on a pre-deployment...

Keep Reading

Our College Visit Disaster: What You Should Learn from My Mistakes

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Mom and teen daughter selfie, color photo

With a song in my heart, I got in the car to drive my daughter to our first college visit.  We drove two hours to a school nestled in the mountains. It was a state school, not too big, not too small.  She knew plenty of alumni from her high school who attended there, and I was convinced it was going to be the perfect fit. We pulled up to the student center, and I jumped out of the car. I glanced around for her and realized she was still sitting in the car.  “Mom, I’m not getting out. I ...

Keep Reading

I Was Never Good Enough for My Mother, So I’m Done Trying

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman walking away

I’m on a path in life that is so different from what I ever imagined growing up. It’s a path I’m not even sure I consciously choose. And it’s a path that exhausts me. I grew up with a narcissistic mother, and I was the scapegoat. No matter how I tried, I could never gain my mother’s love. It was love that was tainted with conditions and taken away at any time—and that was often. And thus, I tried harder. Best grades, best behavior, cleanest room. It never worked. I was too fat. My thighs were huge—make sure they were...

Keep Reading

Even When it Feels Like I Can’t, I Keep Going

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom holding toddler

When I feel like I can’t do one more thing. When I am overwhelmed and touched out and lost in the logistics of it all. When my physical and mental energy are depleted. When the length of my to-do list needs more hours than I have. When I am so bone tired that I’m sure I just can’t go on. And there is still more to do. And the only choice is to keep going– I keep going. I dig a little deeper and find strength I didn’t know I had. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it...

Keep Reading

I Am an Immigrant Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and toddler in sunshine

I have many moments of What did I get myself into? during the day, especially when one of my kids is screaming at the top of his lungs and the other is having a make-believe experiment in the kitchen. We’ve heard countless times that raising kids is hard, but raising kids as a first-generation immigrant is harder. Obviously, there is no competition for who has more struggles or whose life is harder because child rearing is hard. Period. But this piece is specifically aimed at shedding some light on the unsung heroes, our so-called, first-gen immigrants raising kids in a...

Keep Reading

What Happens When She Wants Another Baby and He Does Not?

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife, pregnancy photo, color photo

I am on my knees, folded over, with my head resting on the carpet. I am in my closet, which doesn’t see much of the vacuum, and it is the only place I can find to sob out of sight. I feel hollowed out and defeated as if I have run a marathon and was cut short at the finish line. I cry out in prayer, pleading with God to soften the heart of my husband. I desperately want another child, and he desperately does not. I take a deep breath and dry my eyes because my 4-year-old outside the...

Keep Reading

Everything I Know About Motherhood, I Learned from My Mom

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother and daughter walking down snowy path, color photo

I lay in a hospital bed, and the doctor placed my brand-new son into my arms. As I held him close and stared in wonder at this tiny new life, the gravity of being totally responsible for another person settled in with an enormous weight. I could hear my mom’s voice in my mind, “Support the head, hold him close, let him feel you breathe.” Words from my youth when she taught me how to comfort my crying baby cousin. The first lesson I had in taking care of a baby. When I brought my son home from the hospital,...

Keep Reading

We Have a Big Family and Wouldn’t Change a Thing

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four children in front of Christmas tree, color photo

I have just had my fourth baby. A baby who wasn’t expected but very much wanted and very much loved from the moment we found out. When we told people we were expecting, the response was underwhelming. The stream of intrusive questions would then ensue:  You already have your hands full, how will you cope with four? You’ll need a bigger car! Where will they all sleep? Don’t you own a TV? You know how babies are made right? People seemed to have such a strong opinion about me having a fourth child. RELATED: We Had a Lot of Kids...

Keep Reading