So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I stand next to you while the church band plays, amazed that you now tower four inches taller than me. How did you get so tall and your feet so big that they stretch further toward the seats in front of us than mine do? I wonder how have I arrived here so quickly, finding myself standing next to you—almost a man? My motherhood journey through church with you has swiftly flown by.

I carried you in my body listening to God’s word as you tumbled, rolled, slept, probably smiled so tiny and happy in my pregnant belly.

I held you as you were baptized, as you giggled at the people in the sanctuary, your gorgeous baby smile delighting everyone with those robust cheeks that now are exquisitely carved, making you look like the next boy model. You didn’t cry, but smiled the whole time as the water tickled your baby head that day. Nor did you cry as I held you, the main attraction with family, afterward in the yellow baby blanket that was once mine.

In church services, I held baby-you on my lap and rushed out as you cried, and nursed you in the mother’s room until you fell asleep or smiled up at me.

When I left you in the nursery, sometimes you lasted the whole service; sometimes I was called from hearing God’s word to come comfort you. But I knew God was teaching me His word in that moment as I nurtured and comforted you, so I was not at a loss of his wisdom as I mothered you.

When you were a toddler, I volunteered alongside other brave souls to watch you and friends jump and squeal in the childcare room while other moms and dads relished in self-care for their souls in the service.

Then I dropped you off at the preschool room where you ate snacks, sang songs and clapped, talked about God, played with toys many other little hands touched. You grabbed blocks and train tracks with the perfect little hands God gave you. You heard Bible lessons then came rushing to me at the door with a joyful face at the end of the service. You were a smile from God to me each time.

Next, you strode up the stairs to the big kids’ room to learn more about God. You played games and danced (well, maybe sometimes danced). The volunteers gave you popcorn as you found peers and friends to hang with, visit the basketball and video games alongside. Clapping and singing along became uncool, but you still heard God’s word. I felt lucky to have you.

Time kept going, even though I was chasing it, wanting it to go faster to make you more independent before realizing what I really wanted was for it to slow down. I miss the past; I wish I had relished it more, lived in the moment more, but my busy mom hands never slowed down. I realize even as big as you are now, my mom hands still haven’t slowed down. But I now know it’s a good busy to cherish.

Yet, as I miss the past, I glory in your new accomplishments, your new faith, how you’ve learned to pray, and how our church is helping you be a person of faith. I love that these seeds are now in you and I’m watching them grow and blossom. I’m delighted when you bring up God to me because I know He is at work in your life and I am so grateful for that.

So, I can’t be sad as you age. The bittersweetness of it makes me want to weep for times that are gone, but still, I want you to grow and succeed. I want you to stand next to me as this teenager, looking more like a man than a child. I can’t lament for too long as many joys are yet to come to me as your mother.

I glance at you sideways during the service. I wonder what goes on inside your head when our pastor speaks. Do you hear him in ways you don’t hear me? I hope so. He is wise and may speak to your heart in ways of faith I never could.

I am grateful for my motherhood journey through church with you. I’ve gotten to go on this ride with you. I’m so lucky.

I hope to help usher you into adulthood, and I promise, I won’t cry too much for the old you but look with hopeful mama eyes to your future. I want you to grow even though I miss the old you with twinkling eyes asking me to play pretend games of a rocket ship zooming along to far off lands in our living room. I admit I miss the times when I was called from church to soothe your little young soul in the parent-child room where you played with toys feeling safe once again near me.

I hope my presence beside you in church soothes you now as adulthood looms near.

Time is going on and I see a man in you. A man I hope will someday find a woman who wants to be a mom like me, and who loves the baby, the toddler, the preschooler, the elementary kid, and now the high schooler moments that have made you into the amazing man you are becoming. I may cry as I remember and miss each stage of you, but I cherish it all, too. Each moment is carved on my heart and soul; each time I wished time would go faster, and each second I held on for dear life wishing the moment would last forever.

I take this challenge of motherhood, of parenting you through these teenage years. I promise to love the future as much as the past. I will always be your mom because God has blessed me immensely and without adequate and glorious words to convey the true joy of how I cherish being your mom. God made me the lucky one when he gave me you.

Julie Hoag

Julie Hoag is a freelance writer and blogger, wife, and mom to three busy boys, & fur mama to two rescue dogs and two guinea pigs. She writes on her blog about motherhood, kids, family, recipes, DIY, travel, and faith. She is a vegetarian who loves to cook and create recipes when she’s not driving her three boys all over town to sports practices in her crumb-filled minivan. In her past life she has worked as a Scientist and Medical Data Manager, a pediatric nurse, and a SAHM. She loves to volunteer in her kids’ schools and help fundraise money for their schools. She is a Christian who loves nature, animals, traveling, gardening, swimming in her pool, and simply spending time with her family. Her favorites are dark chocolate, red wine, and cheese with yummy bread. http://www.juliehoagwriter.com/

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!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime