So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

My oldest was sick and had a day off school when I decided to descend to the basement and bring up our Christmas tree. I figured that after a weekend of pneumonia, no sleep, and croup we all deserved a bit of merriment called twinkling lights in our house. 

So I brought our fake tree up the stairs and placed it by our stone fireplace. Put the festive tree skirt underneath and plugged in the white lights. 

In my mind it was going to look all Pottery Barn-like. Winter white, twinkling lights, silvery glitter, with a few homemade ornaments thrown in. 

Santa Baby was blasting from the speakers while me and my two oldest kiddos were singing along and stringing silver ribbon around the tree.

It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas. 

But then Tigger needed to sit in the tree. At least that’s what the three-year-old told me as she took her stuffed animal her daddy bought her from Disney World, climbed the ladder, and carefully placed him near the top of the tree.

And since Tigger was in the tree Eeyore needed to be close by. At least that’s what the six-year-old told me as he gently placed the somber donkey from the Hundred Acre Woods into our family tree. 

Before I could protest the kids had gathered a whole team of their favorite stuffed animals. New favorites like Branch from the Troll movie and a few old friends like the bears they’d each been given on the day of their birth started sticking their heads out from between the limbs.

My Pottery-Barn tree had quickly been hijacked by a fleet of stuffed animals. It was beginning to look a lot like a gaudy Christmas. I started to pull off the coyote beanie baby and replace him with a snow-covered star, but stopped. 

“Isn’t this the prettiest tree ever” asked my son as he stared into those magical lights. 

I looked up at him and my daughter. The pride painted on their faces. And then I looked at the ugly troll sticking out of the tree. 

“Yep, it sure is” I told him as my cringe transformed into a smile. And I meant it. I really did. 

So instead of taking down coyote I picked up a stuffed dinosaur from the floor and put him on the tree. Then I tucked my body into our leather couch and just sat and watched. Drank coffee. Rocked my infant. Listened to my kids having a magical morning of arranging the tree to the tune of their own hearts. Making new ornaments out of found objects dear to their souls. 

The entire morning was filled with delight. My daughter kept sticking her head up the chimney and proclaiming, “I hope Santa comes!” 

My son whistled along to Feliz Navidad and every other song that came on the Holly station. 

My tree is now filled with a hodge-podge of Hallmark and homemade and plush animals. But it’s filled with love. It’s what happened when I let my kids be kid and I abandoned ideals and instead embraced the season of child-like joy. 

And tonight as midnight approaches and I’m sitting in the quiet of my house I look at my tree and really do think it’s the most stunning tree in the world. It might not grace the cover of Southern Living or Pottery Barn, but it’s absolutely perfect for this mama who loves nothing more than watching her kids delight in the majesty of Christmas. 

Sarah Philpott

Sarah Philpott Ph.D lives in the south east on a sprawling cattle farm where she raises her two mischievous children (with one on the way!) and is farm wife to her high school sweetheart. A former teacher, she now spends this season of her life cleaning peanut butter & jelly off the counter, dreaming of traveling the world, hosting “get-togethers” for her family & friends, and chasing her kids around the farm. Sarah is represented by The Blythe Daniel Literary Agency. You can visit with Sarah at her http://allamericanmom.net/ blog where she writes about cultivating a life of down-home simplicity. She also has a passion for helping women cope with pregnancy loss.

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

To the Mother of My Son’s Future Wife

In: Grown Children, Inspiration, Kids, Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
marriage, wife, husband, grown children, www.herviewfromhome.com

To the mother of my son’s future wife, I’m in the midst of dirty diapers and temper tantrums, but I do have days where I think about the future and what it will look like for my son. I wonder who he will be, what he will do and probably most of all, who he will love. I wonder about the type of woman he will bring home to meet us one day. I have my own thoughts on the type of person I wish my son would fall in love with, but we all know that the heart wants...

Keep Reading

Trading Fleeting Moments of Fame for Unshakeable Faith

In: Faith, Inspiration, Relationships
Trading Fleeting Moments of Fame for Unshakeable Faith www.herviewfromhome.com

The string quartet began playing Pachelbel, as my dad and I took our first steps down the aisle. I began to lose my composure as we proceeded to the altar. Hundreds of guests had their eyes on me as tears streamed down my face. Struggling to look my future in the eyes, I looked to the ground for reprieve. God, everything around me looks perfect, so why doesn’t this feel right? I’m not sure how I got here. The flame once dancing inside of me, has extinguished. Lord, I need you. Dad squeezed my hand gently, “Are you OK sweetie?”...

Keep Reading

Children Don’t Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

In: Inspiration, Mental Health, Motherhood
Children Don't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger www.herviewfromhome.com

“This too shall pass.” As mothers, we cling to these words as we desperately hope to make it past whichever parenting stage currently holds us in its clutches. In the thick of newborn motherhood, through night wakings, constant nursing and finding our place in an unfamiliar world, we long for a future filled with more sleep and less crying. We can’t imagine any child or time being more difficult than right now. Then, a toddler bursts forth, a tornado of energy destroying everything in his wake. We hold our breath as he tests every possible limit and every inch of...

Keep Reading

This North Dakota Homecoming Queen is Capturing Hearts Everywhere

In: Inspiration, Kids, School, Teen
This North Dakota Homecoming Queen is Capturing Hearts Everywhere www.herviewfromhome.com

When Paula and Kevin Burckard’s third child was born, she arrived with a little something extra the North Dakota couple never saw coming.  Newborn Grace had Down syndrome, and the diagnosis initially left the young parents devastated. “When Grace was born, I thought all my dreams for my daughter had basically been dashed,” Paula said.  But it didn’t take long for those fears to subside.  As Grace grew, not only did she meet and surpass milestones, her infectious joy, inspirational grit, and deep love of all things Michael Jackson transformed the family—and countless hearts. The Burckhards went on to adopt...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, When I Forget What It’s Like To Be Little

In: Child, Inspiration, Kids, Motherhood
Hey Mom, Don't Forget—You Were a Kid Once, Too www.herviewfromhome.com

The kids were squealing in the backseat. For the five minutes prior they were begging me to spill the beans on where we were going as I had only told them to get their shoes, get in the car and buckle up. It’s one of the ways I’ve learned to make a simple trip out of the house one that is a mysterious adventure to them. As we took left and right turns away from our house, they were trying to guess where we were going . . . and when we finally pulled up to a brand new playground...

Keep Reading

My Children Deserve To See the Whole Me, Not Just the Mom Me

In: Inspiration, Journal, Motherhood
My Children Deserve To See the Whole Me, Not Just the Mom Me www.herviewfromhome.com

Before I was a mother, I was a human being. A human being with life experiences, passions, fears, talents, hobbies, goals, friends and aspirations that I cherished and tried to honor. Even though I went through a variety of seasons of life . . . from school-age days, to working adult, to wife . . . those things always stayed with me. I stayed open to evolving, but never let go of who I inherently was. Then came motherhood. And suddenly I found myself abandoning my commitment to remain true to me, and leaving any semblance of myself in the...

Keep Reading

My Mother-in-Law’s Legacy: Simplicity

In: Inspiration, Journal
My Mother-in-Law's Legacy: Simplicity www.herviewfromhome.com

The memories of my mother-in-law spilled to the forefront of my mind, just as the contents of his jacket pocket fell onto our dresser. It was Proverbs 31, written on hotel stationery, in my neatest block print. Holding the small papers in my hand brought me right back to her graveside, on a hot summer morning, seven years ago. “Her children arise and call her blessed.” (verse 28) As my second daughter gave a mighty kick from the womb, visible to every mourner present that day, I couldn’t help but to allow my mind to wander. Were my values apparent...

Keep Reading

A Car Accident Left My Teenager Paralyzed—and Incredibly Fierce

In: Inspiration, Journal
A Car Accident Left My Teenager Paralyzed—and Incredibly Fierce www.herviewfromhome.com

I drove back from my son’s college concert near midnight. Exhausted, I glanced at my 14-year-old daughter, Beth, asleep in the passenger seat. We were only 10 minutes from home. I thought I could make it until I heard a road sign flatten on concrete. As the car flipped three times across a bare Ohio field, we left behind an ordinary life. I escaped with cuts, bruises, and blood-matted hair. Beth was another story. The car was cut open and a helicopter rushed her to Toledo. A doctor told my husband John that she was paralyzed. When John broke the news...

Keep Reading

Dear Mama, You’re Allowed To Not Be There

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Dear Mama, You're Allowed To Not Be There www.herviewfromhome.com

Friday afternoon was not much crazier than most afternoons. My husband was mowing the lawn, my daughter was hangry and my youngest son was due to be in a talent show in twenty minutes. I stood in the kitchen—where it seemed like I’d been for an hour—trying to motivate my family to eat dinner and get ready to go. “Get dressed, Jude. Make sure you eat something.” “Dean, do you want a slice of pizza before we leave?” I screamed over the lawn mower. “Maeve, are you going to the optional soccer practice or the talent show? You need to...

Keep Reading