Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I’ve heard it said that parenting is like building a cathedral one brick at a time. Usually, it can feel more like one tiny piece of a brick at a time.

There’s a building project on a large piece of land by the library in town, and we’ve heard rumor that it will eventually be our favorite health food store. For months it seemed like nothing was going on, just a lot of trucks driving here and there over a paved lot. Then one day, you could finally see a foundation being laid and soon after that, the outline of a big store. All that effort had transpired into something tangible relatively quickly.

Not so much with mothering.

As moms, it sometimes feels like whatever construction you did accomplish during the day constantly meets with a wrecking ball (aka your kids). The building gets knocked down and you have to start all over. The clean dishes become dirty again. The empty laundry basket gets refilled. The neat and tidy rooms inevitably get messy.

Other times it can seem like the contractor simply didn’t bother to show up. There’s a framework, but progress is stalled. You go for months, maybe even years, without seeing any of the fruit of your labor.

Your son keeps displaying a disrespectful attitude you thought had been dealt with. Your daughter refuses to take steps towards more independence. Your children seem stuck in the same frustrating, and at times heartbreaking, behavior patterns.

It feels like you repeat the same words, go over the same lessons, read the same verses. And nothing changes.

In our fast paced culture, we want to see instant results. We aren’t satisfied until we actually witness something start to take shape, and when there is little progress it’s not very motivating to continue building into our children’s lives. However, the Bible promises “at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9, NIV; emphasis mine)

Of course, we need to make sure that we build on the right foundation in the first place.

Our homes must be built upon the Word of God, if we hope to produce children that have the same values as we do. This is the blueprint for all of our construction.

With so many things vying for our kids’ attention and hearts, they need to be grounded in the truth. They should see us esteem God’s Word over all else. If we have a problem, or a decision to make, they need to know that we will seek God’s wisdom over man’s. Likewise, if they have something they’re struggling with, they should be learning how to apply biblical principles to the situation.

Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” We can either build a safe and secure home for our families with our words, actions, and attitudes, or destroy it.  

Our words can build up and encourage our kids, or break their spirits. We can choose to spend time on things that don’t really matter in the long term, or be intentional about helping our kids build character and integrity. We can act resentful towards our children and spouse, or we can be joyful about serving and spending time with them.

Finally, prayer is the cement that holds the building all together. Without it, we lose our connection to the Master Builder who guides our work. We lose sight of the grand purpose before us, growing frustrated with what seems like a lack of progress.

As we pour into our children, we must be poured into by Him. We cannot give what we do not have. We’ll become weary in doing good if we’re concerned only with what we can see right here and now before us.

Eventually, all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into this cathedral we are building will start to appear in our kids’ attitudes, in their choices, and in their relationships. The monument of raising children gets built in the minutiae. In all of the nitty, gritty details from diapers to dating.

Today, we just have to focus on that one brick we are laying down. Or that one tiny piece of a brick.

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

Marisa Boonstra

Marisa writes to encourage women to find purpose and joy in their God-given calling as mothers, and to help them raise children with a biblical worldview. She’s a homeschooling mama to two great kids and a wife to one husband of 13 years. She enjoys coffee, hanging out with friends, and spending time in God's Word. Her book, Bucking The System: Reclaiming Our Children’s Minds For Christ, was released January 2016 in both Kindle and Softcover formats. Marisa blogs over at http://calledtomothering.com/

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

Mom, Will You Pray With Me?

In: Faith, Motherhood
Little girl praying, profile shot

“Will you pray with me?” This is a question I hear daily from my 9-year-old. Her worried heart at times grips her, making it difficult for her to fall asleep or nervous to try something new. Her first instinct is to pray with Mom. Perhaps this is because of how many times her Dad and I have told her that God is with her, that she is never alone, and that she can always come to Him in prayer and He will answer. Perhaps it is because she has seen her Dad and I lean on the Lord in times...

Keep Reading

My Aunt Is the Woman I Want to Become

In: Faith, Living
Woman with older woman smiling

It’s something she may not hear enough, but my aunt is truly amazing. Anyone who knows her recognizes her as one-of-a-kind in the best way possible. It’s not just her playful jokes that bring a smile to my face, her soul is genuinely the sweetest I know. I hope she knows that I see her, appreciate her, and acknowledge all the effort she puts in every day, wholeheartedly giving of herself to everyone around her. When I look back on my childhood, I see my aunt as a really important part of it. We have shared so much time together,...

Keep Reading

A Big Family Can Mean Big Feelings

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Family with many kids holding hands on beach

I’m a mother of six. Some are biological, and some are adopted. I homeschool most of them. I’m a “trauma momma” with my own mental health struggles. My husband and I together are raising children who have their own mental illnesses and special needs. Not all of them, but many of them. I battle thoughts of anxiety and OCD daily. I exercise, eat decently, take meds and supplements, yet I still have to go to battle. The new year has started slow and steady. Our younger kids who are going to public school are doing great in their classes and...

Keep Reading