So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Another tragedy. Another day I sit here shaking my head in disbelief, and wiping away a tear. This one is too close though. Just a two-hour car drive away. In the town I went to college in, and the same areas I used to party when I was younger. This one is too close because I have family and close friends who are gay. I have a family member who is a regular patron of Pulse.

What if he was there that night? The thought turns my stomach upside down, tears form in the corner of my eyes.

I watch the local news, which is playing round the clock coverage. As a news junkie, I watch. This isn’t what I want to see. I never want to see a terrorist attack happen in any area of the world, but when it strikes so close. It’s surreal.

So surreal that I didn’t even think about my beloved family member being at the club until I logged onto Facebook to see his post assuring everyone he was okay. Asking for prayers for others.

I have a longtime family friend and his partner who have a young son together. I have fond memories of going to Orlando with both of them long before they were married and parents. My friend posted the following on his Facebook account:

Breaks my heart to know that at some point I am going to have to explain to our son that some people hate us so much that they would kill us, in the name of their religion. For now, I’m just going to hold on to him as tight as I can. #‎PrayForOrlando”‬

To me, that’s what this is all about. Our children, our future. As much as we would all love to go back and change what happened, we can’t. All we can do is focus on the next generation. To ensure that the cycle of hate stops.

I’m relentlessly optimistic, so I imagine a world where perhaps my friend never has to explain to his son that people hate him and people like him. His son is young, maybe there is time?

I realize this is unfortunately unrealistic, but in a scary surreal time you hold onto any hope. Like my friend so beautifully said, you hold onto your children. We need to teach our children not just tolerance, but love.

What that coward did in the name of religion, is so far from the religion I was taught. ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Period. Not love your straight neighbors, your neighbors of a certain political party, the neighbors who have the same view as you. Just love your neighbor.

In the past it’s always said after every shooting, that our love has to be stronger than their hate. While that sentiment is almost always agreed upon, it’s not always carried out. In the weeks and months that follow, how will you treat your neighbor? Our country has a great track record of coming together after tragedy, but following through is not our strong point.

In a political season where barbs are thrown back and forth both on television and in living rooms across this great country of ours, let’s make it stop. Let this feeling of peace and coming together last not just for today, but for future generations.

Let’s be honest, this was not just a terrorist attack, this was a targeted attack on our fellow brothers and sisters. Whether you agree with the way they live their life or not, there is NO excuse for what happened today. There is no reason a mother should be on my television right now, crying because she hasn’t heard from her son since he texted her from inside Pulse last night. There is no reason why I’m hearing that police are walking through Pulse stepping over bodies and hearing cell phones ringing from concerned loved ones and there is no reason why among all of this sadness my friend should have to worry about what he is going to have to tell his son some day about all this.

It’s all too close.

Kimberly Patterson

Kimberly Patterson is a writer, wife and mother of two adorable, over-zealous toddlers. She spends her days in yoga pants, pecking away at the keys on her laptop and pulling her kids off of whatever household furniture they climb upon. She has been published on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Her View From Home, The Mighty, and several other publications. Read more of her insights at truthisinthewriting.com.

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

As an Anxious Mom, I Remind Myself You Were God’s Child First

In: Faith, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping

I remember bringing that squishy baby home from the hospital. His 9-pound birth weight didn’t label him as scrawny by any means, but he was so small to us. I cringed the first time I laid him in the bassinet beside my bed. I wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on him all night long like the nurses in the hospital nursery. I couldn’t make sure he was breathing every second of my coveted slumber. To calm my worries, we turned on our bathroom light and left the door wide open. The extra light wouldn’t disturb our angel from...

Keep Reading

Home is Holy Ground

In: Faith, Motherhood
Kids and mom at home

Some days, I wake up and walk around my house feeling my chest rise looking at the chaotic mess I didn’t get done the day before.  Trampling over toys, incomplete laundry, and dishes that seem to load up by the end of the day. I pause, I stare, and I wonder which of the objects in each room I should tackle first. I take a deep breath and notice my heart and my mind are overwhelmed with a running checklist. Why can’t everything just get done all at one time? You can talk to a dozen mothers and I am...

Keep Reading

I Want My Kids To Know God’s Always There

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding cross in the palm of her hand, color photo

A few months ago, my friend lost his dad. And it impacted our community profoundly. Because he loved SO BIG. Everywhere he went, he couldn’t help but talk to and engage with people—sharing a joke to make them smile or offering a compliment to build them up. He was a connector. And in all the connecting he did, he was quick to remind everyone he encountered that our hearts are ever connected to a God who loves us. It had become his thing to pass out little wooden crosses to those he happily chatted up as he went about each...

Keep Reading

In Motherhood, Grace Makes up the Difference

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young child

Today, I have been the mean mom, the tired mom, the overwhelmed mom, the anxious mom, the impatient mom, and the want to turn in my mom card mom. Mostly, I’ve felt like the I have no clue what I’m doing mom. I have raised my voice 47 times, told children to “suck it up, buttercup” 36 times, and have intervened in approximately 83 sibling disagreements. I have rolled my eyes 59 times, sighed 148 times, and visibly showed other signs of impatience, well, way too many times. RELATED: I’m a Good Mom, You Just Caught Me in a Bad...

Keep Reading

Dear Child, God Sees All of You—And So Do I

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mom and young son painting together

Math has always come easily to him. Even from the beginning stages when we counted wooden blocks on the living room floor, the numbers just came to him. “How many blocks are there?” I asked him, pointing to the scattered row of blocks. I expected him to count them. He was only three or four years old. “Six,” he answered promptly. “Yes . . . but how did you know that?” I asked hesitantly. He had not taken the time necessary to have counted them. “Three and three are six,” he replied. And on it went. The math came easily,...

Keep Reading

Jesus Meets Me in Motherhood With His No Matter What Love

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother embracing daughter in sunlit room

My toddler was that kid on the playground—the one who would push and bite, erupting into a tantrum and needing to be carried home screaming. As I would carry my child to the car, the other moms looked at me with sympathy, confusion, fear, and . . . judgment.  Parents of challenging kids know this look well. We see judgment everywhere we go. I knew others were judging me, and I knew our challenges were beyond the normal bell curve, but as an overwhelmed young mom, I did all I knew to do: I blamed myself.  At my lowest, I...

Keep Reading

Dear Girl, Give Jesus Your Mess

In: Faith, Living
Woman holding Bible, color photo

Oh, dear girl, Give Jesus the mess. Your mess. The mess you think is too much or too big or too unbearable. The depths of the mess. The very worst of the mess. Lay it at His feet. He knew you long before the mess existed. Nobody knows your mess like Jesus. I assure you—this will not catch Him by surprise. Even when you do not understand, even when it is most difficult, even when you have your head buried in your hands. Praise Him, for God wastes nothing.  Even when it feels like opposition is coming at you from...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Love Is an Endless Pursuit

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child on bike, color photo

I look at him and my heart breaks into a million little pieces. It simply hurts too much to know he hurts. He is my heart, and it squeezes and revolts when he struggles. I want to close my eyes and hold him close, and when I resurface, I want the world to be different for him. Look different, smell different, taste different. But, it remains the same, this pain.   In the beginning, when he was in my womb, I held my hands on my stomach and his tiny feet kicked me back. His bodily imprint on my skin. He...

Keep Reading

Motherhood Brings Me to the Floor and Jesus Meets Me There

In: Faith, Motherhood

I recently came across a short memoir writing competition with the theme, “Places that have made me, changed me, or inspired me.” I could write something for that, I thought. I’m by no means a jet-setter, but I do have a passport. I spent my 16th birthday in Russia on a three-week mission trip. During college, I lived in Thessaloniki, Greece for a four-month study abroad program. After my British husband and I got married, we settled in the UK, where we’ve spent the last 10 years. And now, I’m back in my sunny Florida hometown. These experiences and places...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections