A Mother’s Love from the (in)courage community–Book Review

This is another lovely offering from the (in)courage community, founded by DaySpring, the Christian products subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Inc..  In brief devotional essays, real moms reflect upon their experiences in parenting.  Some will make you laugh and others will bring tears to your eyes.  Bible verses, pages for journaling and Scriptural meditations are interspersed throughout.  There are attractive illustrations and a ribbon bookmark.

Subtitled, Celebrating Every Kind of Mom, you will find grandmothers, adoptive mothers, and those who have been like mothers all represented.  Sections include:

  • Love That Breaks the Mold
  • Love While Holding them Close
  • Love and Laundry
  • Love While Letting them Fly
  • Love Around the Table

I particularly enjoyed the essay about #Realmomconfessions.  For example, “I not only allowed my toddler to eat crackers off of the floor, I put them there because all the bowls were dirty”!  What mom has not had moments like this? (but been afraid to admit it!)

Although not limited to mothers of young children, this is the group to whom the book will appeal most.  I could imagine a mother answering the journaling questions and passing the book on to her own daughter when she becomes a parent.

VERDICT:  5 Stars.  This would make a nice baby shower or Mother’s Day gift.

If you would like to purchase this book, follow the link below:


The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR part 255.

For other books from the (in)courage community see these posts:

Journey to the Cross from the (in)courage community — Book Review

Women of Courage: a Forty-Day Devotional — Book Review




Happy Mother’s Day!

I counted this past Sunday as my first real Mother’s day. Yes, I had my first child last February, but with only three months of motherhood behind me I had really not experienced the true essence of being a mom. The many many (did I say many?) sleepless nights and early mornings, feedings and baths and laundry and work had not quite hit me yet. My own mother told me that in the early years of motherhood there is nothing more important to you than sleep. She was right on so many levels. Motherhood is truly an experience that you cannot appreciate until it happens to you.

As an adult, it gives me a new appreciation for my own mother and how much she went through to take care of us. How much love and sacrifice it took to continue down that path of nurturing, caring, and developing tiny little people. There is so much reward and yet it can be so exhausting and overwhelming at times. There are no breaks from motherhood, no vacations, and very young children never respond to your silent prayers to sleep through the night ‘just this one time’. How did my mother do it? How do I do it? And yet you love them so much it hurts, would give them every last bit of energy you have left, and at the end of the day still find just a little bit more to give them when they need it. The love for your own child is something that surpasses understanding and must truly be a gift from God.

Amazing to also think that God loves and cares about each and every one of us the same way that we care about our own children. What a responsibility that must be!! How is it possible?? Aren’t we so lucky to have Him as our heavenly father, always there, always watching? He knows and loves each and every one of us, and aren’t we blessed! Happy Mother’s Day to my mother and to all the mothers out there who are doing such important work!!!

A Parent Who Never Forgets

“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?  Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.  Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands;  your walls are continually before me.”  Isaiah 50: 15-16

Sunday was Mother’s Day and you may have read Kate’s post about a mother’s love.  She talked about how unlikely it was that a mother would ever stop loving her child, even when the child was ungrateful or disappointing.  Even when a child chooses to walk away from the family, or behave in hurtful ways, most parents still yearn for that relationship to be restored.

The verses above tell us that God is that kind of parent.  We can’t survive without Him, any more than a newborn infant can survive without mother’s milk.  He won’t forget us.  Love for us is part of His unchanging nature.  The welfare of each of us is His continual concern.  That’s why He sent Jesus.

So on Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, when we give thanks for our earthly parents, let’s also give thanks for our Father in Heaven who will never forget us or leave us or forsake us.

Image result for image of engraved on the palm of my hand


To My Mom…

Of course, being that it is Mother’s Day, I wanted to write something about my mother. For some reason, when I was pondering what to write, this is the story that popped into my head:

One day when I was quite young, my mom took me out of daycare to go to the doctor’s office. She decided to make a fun day out of it, taking me shopping afterwards and for ice cream. For a working mom with two kids, this was definitely meant to be a special day for just me and her. Well, on the way home she said that I started crying and told her that she had ruined my whole day!! I had plans to play with a friend at daycare and she had just ruined it!! As adults, we laugh over this story, but I know that at the time it certainly hurt my mother’s feelings.

Wow. Not my best moment- lol. While there are many more endearing and sweet stories that I could tell, this one seems important to me because it reminds me of how great a mother’s love is. Mothers love us through the good, the bad, and the ugly. No matter what happens or how badly I may behave, I always have that love from my mom. There are few other people in the world that I could say that about. This verse from Corinthians seems to be the most fitting:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

The love that I have from my mom is one of those things that makes me feel safe and secure in life, even as an adult. I consider my mom to be one of my closest friends and confidantes, and know that I can always call her about anything. And yes, even as an adult, I still eagerly await the cards and care packages that my mom sends me. It is nice to know that in a sometimes scary and confusing world, there is always someone in your corner, quietly rooting you on in your life. I am so blessed and grateful to have such a great mom. So to all moms of adult children and especially to my mom, thank you so much. You are so loved and appreciated for everything that you do!!! Happy Mother’s Day 🙂

A Gentle and Quiet Spirit

Image result for gentle and quiet spirit

Who exemplifies this verse to you?  It always makes me think of my mother.  She is in a nursing home now with Parkinson’s disease and dementia, but that gentle and quiet spirit still shines through.

How does the Bible describe gentleness?

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  Proverbs 15:1

Many people in mom’s situation are angry and frustrated.  They act out and make difficulties for those around them.  I know mom is frustrated, too, when she cannot find the words to tell us what she wants, or can’t remember the answer to a question we ask.  Yet, I have never seen her behave in an angry, rude or confrontational way.

“…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3

Mom has always been a humble person, never one to be demanding, or put herself first. She bears with her situation patiently.

“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to be gentle and show perfect courtesy toward all people.”  Titus 3:1

Once again, gentleness seems to be associated with courtesy.  My mom’s behavior always taught me to be kind and courteous to others.  Courtesy doesn’t seem to be valued these days, but it can go a long way toward winning someone over.  Listen to this:

“…always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you:  yet do this with gentleness and respect.”  1 Peter 3:15

Being gentle will further our witness to Christ.  Who has taught you the art of being gentle? We want to hear your story.

Unanswered Prayer

I’m sure there are those of you out there that are reading what we’ve put up so far and are saying to yourselves “But God never answers my prayers!”

Let me tell you a bit of my story.  I spent many years as a caregiver to my husband and before that a “co-caregiver” with my Dad for my mother.  I prayed a lot.  Many of the prayers that I prayed went unanswered in the way that I prayed them.  “Heal my husband”; “Heal my Mom”.  Neither my husband or my mother were healed and both eventually died.

When my mom died, I got mad.  I had prayed and God didn’t answer my prayer.  I moved away from the Lord during that time because of my anger.  It was a very dark time in my life.  Then my husband got sick.

I would pray for healing for my husband, but there was a difference this time.  I had come back to the Lord and I knew I would never get through this time with out Him.  During my prayers other petitions would slip in.  “Give me strength” and “Help me cope”.  Now I have to tell you that those prayers were answered.  I found strength and hope through this prayer life.  I stopped praying for the healing and just raised my husband in prayer, because God knew what was what…  I didn’t need to keep asking for healing.  If God wanted him to be healed, he would be.  If not, then I needed all the strength I could get.    God is God.  I started to trust him with everything.

There is a song by Kutless (yes, I’m the music person on this blog!!) and they say the same thing so much better.  Here are the lyrics and a link to the video:

“Even If”

Sometimes all we have to hold on to
Is what we know is true of who You are
So when the heartache hits like a hurricane
That could never change who You are
And we trust in who You areEven if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t comeLord we know Your ways are not our ways
So we set our faith in who You are
Even though You reign high above us
You tenderly love us
We know Your heart
And we rest in who You are

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come

You’re still the Great and Mighty One
We trust You always
You’re working all things for our good
We’ll sing your praise

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come

You are God and we will bless You
As the Good and Faithful One
You are God and we will bless You
Even if the healing doesn’t come
Even if the healing doesn’t come

And for those of you who would rather listen:


A Praying Mother

…Older women, likewise, are to be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers or addicted to much wine, but teachers of good. In this way they can train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, managers of their households, kind, and subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be discredited.…Titus 2:3-5

Mother’s Day was Sunday so I just want to say, if you had a praying mother, give thanks.  She was one of God’s gifts to you.  And if you didn’t, give thanks to the Christian woman who taught you to pray, because I bet there was one.

One of the things I learned on my Via de Cristo weekend is, we are all leaders because we all influence others. I am a shy, private person so even as an active Christian, I never thought of myself as a leader.  The Bible tells us otherwise.  In the quote above we learn that we are constantly teaching others through our life and our behavior.  Did you know that when people are asked who has had the greatest influence on their spiritual life, the most common answer given is “my mother”?  I bet grandmothers and other older women are in that mix as well.  Did you know that the Bible says many husbands are ” won over without words by the behavior of their wives”?(1 Peter 2:1)

If you are not a mother or wife, you can still teach someone about prayer.  I challenge you to watch War Room (mentioned in one of Beth Ann’s posts) to see “passing it on” in action.  Each of us can and should be a mentor to someone else.

In the meantime, think about who taught you to pray.  Was it your mother, your grandmother, your Sunday School teacher, your friend?  Please comment, I am waiting to hear your answer.

God loves you and so do I!