I have four kids! It’s an exclamation point to me whenever I say or type it out because my youngest is still so new, only eighteen months old. Sometimes it still catches me off guard that these four little people are mine, that I get to raise these four siblings.
My husband and I didn’t know if we’d be able to have kids at all. It took three years of testing and trying and poking and prodding, ending in a traumatic miscarriage before we had our Sam. After him, I had another painful loss, followed by a long wait before I had Josie. Next, our Clara was a straight up surprise gift, born just fifteen months after her sister. We waited for five years then, letting my body take a breather after it had been stretched and torn and ripped and leaky through five pregnancies. And after five years, my “just one more” prayers became Theo, our family’s exclamation point.
They’re so cute and funny and smart, and also sassy and screamy and really good at throwing a fit. We love being together, and we also love being apart so we can come back together. I love them and want to squish their faces, and I also want one whole day alone by myself.
Sometimes I get so mad that I laugh. Almost every night I’m exhausted, but I stay up too late on purpose because it’s the only time the house is quiet and my brain can complete a sentence. I dream of the future yet also can’t really see beyond bedtime.
Mothering is all a great push and pull. It’s a series of both/ands, of give and take, of holding close and letting go.
I read once that a goldfish will grow to fit the space it inhabits. If it’s a giant pond, the goldfish will swell massive. If it’s a little bedroom bowl, the goldfish will stay small.
And so it is with a mothering heart — growing to accommodate more, cracking and shrinking through pain and longing, spanning seasons and decades and long days and short years.
As Mother’s Day approaches, we know that it is a complex day full of many emotions and experiences. Know that at (in)courage, we are praying for each of you in this season as you remember, celebrate, grieve, or enjoy motherhood and what it means to you. Every single woman who loves, encourages, and nurtures those who become part of the next generation is doing an amazing work and is to be celebrated.
I’m grateful that here at (in)courage and DaySpring, we have some beautiful gifts and resources for and about moms of all kinds. Two of my favorites are the following:
A Mother’s Love: Celebrating Every Kind of Mom is full of reflections on God’s heart. Featuring unique and diverse stories from the (in)courage community, A Mother’s Love offers heartfelt encouragement to all kinds of moms, whether they’re a mother in a traditional sense, a spiritual mother, or a mother-like figure who breaks the mold. This book is sure to help any woman share a meaningful gift with someone who has been impactful in her life, a new mom learning the ropes, or a close loved one facing the joys and challenges of any stage and type of motherhood. Compiled with all women in mind so we can celebrate those who made us, shaped us, helped us grow, and loved us well, it’s a beautiful gift for the moms in your life.
Oh, Baby! Devotions for New Parents from DaySpring would also make a great gift for a new mom in your life! Each entry reminds her that God is close and is intimately interested in her feelings, worries, and fears surrounding parenthood. She can discover how she can find peace, joy, and grace on this new journey and how God walks with her through every high and every low.
Both of these are perfect gifts to celebrate the mothers, women, and parents in your life!
And to help you celebrate them, we’re giving away FIVE gift bundles that include a copy of each book! Leave a comment on this post telling us about one such special parent in your life, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of A Mother’s Love and Oh, Baby!.
Giveaway is open to US addresses only and ends April 25, 2022 at 11:59pm CST.
Janice Reynolds says
Thank you for this article. I so identified with the desire to be together yet needing time apart!
I also stay up far too late just to have time to myself! I am a Temporary SafeCare mom (Place of Safety), caring for newborn babies (one at a time) until they are placed with their adoptive parents.
Wendy R. says
Thank you! My mom for always doing for us. Raising us to be kind & love all.
Does you book expand far enough to include autistic mom’s looking for a way to survive severe autism, 18yrs of not enough sleep & now, loving the person that hurts you most physically (and emotionally)? Also fills you with awe & inspiration. My son is amazing ,& is more than 10 put together in one.
Beth Williams says
Prayers for strength & courage as you mother your autistic child. May God bless you with patience & perseverance.
I know that it is hard to see right now, but to all the moms of young ones— enjoy this part of your life — one day you will blink and they will be grown and gone! The memories that they carry will most likely not be how clean of a house you kept or how perfect life was, but the time you spent with them. Jesus entrusts us to teach the next generation about Him, always remember that you are doing the special, wonderful work of pointing those little ones to Christ. Blessings on each of you as you faithfully fulfill this calling, however messy it may seem. I have several family members that would really enjoy these books.
Wendy R. says
Thank you! My mother for always doing for us. Raising us to be kind always & love all.
Pamela Souchek says
My mom is amazing! She is always there for my family and I appreciate everything she has done. Of course there have been mountains and valleys, buy by God’s grace, we always get through and are best friends! She is my rock!
Sharon Jacobs says
I had a very special Mother who taught me to value the Bible & learn it. It was as important if not more so that my sis and I do our Bible lessons as do iur school homework. She has been gone 15 yrs. but her example of kindness, serving others, and opening our home lives on.
Suzanne Wagner says
My mother is the most encouraging person I know. She brought me up knowing that GOD was ever present in my life and that I was perfectly made in the likeness of our Lord.
She prayed over us and continues to be my biggest prayer warrior. She loves without prejudice or judging when I fail. I can go to her with any problem, concern or failure and she will be there to encourage and listen to me.
She is the strongest Christian woman that I know. Even now as she is aging, she continues to put her family first. I learned so much from her and continue to learn from her GODLY heart. I praise GOD for sharing this incredible woman with me. I’m not sure how I got so lucky to have an awesome Mom like her but I will continue to thank the Lord for her daily.
Carla Stevens says
My mom is my biggest inspiration and who I continue to look up to for parenting advice.
Paula Schlotterbeck says
One very special parent figure in my life was my Aunt Molly. When my Mom started drinking and things were rough at home, she was my calm in the storm. She spent lots of time with me-we baked cookies and cakes, sewed doll clothes on her treadle sewing machine and she taught me how to embroider. She had so much patience and we just had a good time together! She was never able to have children of her own and she poured all her love and mothering into me. She didn’t speak much about God, but her actions spoke louder than words! I will always think very fondly of her.
Krystal Killy says
I was a mom before my sister, but watching her as a mom of 2 littles now, it makes me so proud to be her sister. She has grown into an amazing mama and I love that I get to do life with her. She takes care of kids all day at our church preschool. Then comes home to still take care of more kids – she’s a saint!! I see the weariness and tiredness on her face most days, but she continues on by the strength of God daily. She is my hero.
Brenda Rodriguez de Meneses says
Motherhood is the most rewarding and yet demanding stage of my life! It’s my favorite role in life! I am the mother of three adult children that will soon give me grandchildren and I’m so excited! Life is SO GOOD because children of all ages are part of mine. I am pastor’s wife, so I get the privilege to be the Spiritual Mother of so many, too! Life is to be lived to the fullest, to be enjoyed, to be fulfilling, to be a blessing and bloom where God has placed you. I get to encourage others to see their life from God’s perspective. We are God’s masterpieces to be channels of His love, His hope, eternal life and abundant living! Making Him known is the ALL in my life, because He is my all in all!
Genn Jackson says
I would love to win this book bundle in honor of my friend Kristen, who is going to become a new mom again any day now. In this society that often doesn’t celebrate single mothers, not only is she becoming one for the second time, she’s created an arena that not only celebrates single mothers, but teaches them how to let their lights shine. I admire her because of the way she’s always poured into her son. He’s an incredible, smart, well rounded person, and I know it’s because of all of the love she’s given him. And now, 15 years later, she’s starting from square one with a brand new baby to shape and to mold. God’s grace has been with her throughout her journey with her first son, and I know that He will be with her through the next phase of her journey as well. She’s an incredible mom and friend, and I can’t wait to see the next chapter of motherhood for her.
Jana Barrett says
My daughter-in-love is one of the best Moms I could ever imagine. She is constantly doing research and looking for the best parenting practices. Her daughter, my granddaughter, is one of the happiest little girls I have ever met! I am blessed!
My special Mother in my life; is my Mother in-law, Leona. She was a single parent of two boys,one who fell under the autism spectrum. Even though she had her struggles,she always rise up! Being a mom of 4 myself,and having my own daughter with Asperger’s,she has taught me to rise up for them and lean on Jesus. She is an inspiration to all women, always going above and beyond to help others. She cared for her mother during her last years with Alzheimer’s,even with her own struggles of Parkinson’s. All while helping me care for my children, while I finished my Masters program. After,her mother’s passing she taught sabbath school and volunteers as a reading tutor. While, struggling with her growing disease and now developing dementia,she continues to ‘rise up’, never complaining or asking for empathy. She is constantly lending a hand to help someone in need. She has shown me that I can be a light for Jesus through my own challenges and suffering. There are days I’m tired and feeling like the worst parent,but she is there to lift me back up in prayer and words of encouragement. She taught me that when you give selflessly,as Jesus,then you find your strength and healing. She always says,” her strength comes from Jesus, it is His work ,she is just the messenger.” She raised her boys to be stewards for Christ and has showed me to do same for my children. It’s the little things, simple acts of kindness that can last a life time in teachings. I pray that as mothers, women all over the world,can ‘rise up’ knowing they are loved and are a child of God. Whatever they do,do it for Jesus. Be His messenger. Find strength and courage in His saving grace. You are not alone. Big or small,no plan is without a greater purpose for his glory. For it’s all for His glory, His purpose. When I tuck my kids in at night,and they say their nightly prayers that their Mimi taught them,I am reminded that they are a part of His plan,whom one day will be stewards of the world. I can rest in faith knowing He has us in our hands. Lean on Jesus. Find Hope. Happy Mother’s day to all of you beautiful souls.
My mom is turning 92 this year. She has been a wonderful example of faith, Hardwork, and loving and caring for everyone. Sometimes I think my friends liked talking with her as much as me
My friend, Julie, has been a big inspiration to me as a Mom and now as a Grandma. She pours out love to her family in real ways, but also shows love to so many others. She is a huge inspiration to everyone around her but is so very humble and has a servant heart.
I’m past the age of motherhood but I have several friends who are expecting! We pray for them by name every morning! How I would love to gift one of them with this prize package!
Thank You for this Good Good
I am so proud of You All !
I’m 83 and everything about
You All makes me proud to
Know You All through these
Thoughts & Words!
I want to honor my mom who loved us all! And I miss her so much! Resurrection morning will be so special to see her and my loved ones together with Jesus!
Janine Lopez says
My mom was the most special person in my life. She taught me how to be a mom and how to be a grandma. I miss her so much. Thank you for the great books and the giveaway.
Melissa H says
My late gram was such an amazing parent example for me. She was spunky, generous and loyal to a fault. She inspired me so much. Our bond was so unique. I pray that when I parent I seep a little of her. Thank you so much for the chance.
Kathy McKinsey says
I am 61, and my Mom is almost 85. Over the last couple years, I’ve learned the gift of talking to her on the phone every day. I feel like we are so much closer than ever, knowing and liking each other better.
Beth Williams says
God bless All the moms out there. They pour their hearts & souls into children. Asking God to give you each the strength & patience to deal with the day to day struggles & sleeplessness. Would give the gift bundle to Marica for her son Andrew &wife. No only did they just have a child, but they also adopted a baby.
Thank you for your insights… mothering (parenting) is very much a push and pull and lots of growth and prayers.
Kacey Pina says
God gave me a special Grandma for a reason. He knew my mom was not going to be the mom I needed. He blessed me with a sweet and kind Grandma who raised me and has taught me to be the mother I am today. She is so caring and giving and would give her last dollar to help someone. I have learned so much from her. She is the first person that taught me about God and how to pray. I will never forget her first prayer she had me pray with her when I was 11 years old.