In My Arms

Baby Noah.

I had read a few places that naming the baby you’ve lost after miscarriage helps with the finality of it all. It is said to give a sense of identity to this little life that left as quickly as it came, but left an imprint you’ll never remove. I couldn’t decide if this was doing more harm than good, but we settled on “good” winning out and started the name hunt.

Moving Day

Today, we say goodbye to our home of almost seven years. A friend of mine told me she wrote a note to her daughter when they moved from their first home and I had to do the same. I wonder if I’m overthinking the whole thing. My parents moved my older brother, older sister and I when I was my kid’s age and I don’t remember a minute of it. I don’t have any childhood memories in my home until I was about 5, yet I just want my littles to remember the life we built here. 

Real Talk

I’ve been doing this thing lately where I dread excursions, no matter how excited I am about them, because I’m nervous about how my kids will act. I have to say, my kids happen to be my favorite 3 and 1.5 year olds on the planet. This goes without saying, of course. But I still felt I should. They are genuinely very well behaved with hearts of absolute gold. That being said, I don’t know if I’m the only one but I figured out recently that my kids try out different things they normally wouldn’t when we’re in a new environment. I have to say, it started to eat away at me.

It doesn’t affect me whatsoever when my friend’s kids have an all out tantrum, throw their food or have a hard time sharing. They’re kids! Of course that happens! But when my kids do the same, I completely lose focus and all hopes of me feeling present and enjoying the moment are lost.

If they ignore me (it’s happened.) if they talk back to me with attitude (happened for the first time last week.) if they kick someone (it’s happened.) if they lean over their friend, shoving them into the ground (…take a guess.) Rather than thinking of their needs and an opportunity for teaching and growth, I am scared of what their behavior says about me.

This is a normal feeling. It’s natural. But it’s not right.

I had to remind myself the other day the truth. My kids were not created to be robots-doing everything I say. My kids weren’t created in my image, to bring me glory. My kids were not created to reign in our home, following whatever whim and want they come across. My job as a mother isn’t to strive for perfection, pride or indifference. It’s to reveal to my children their need for a savior and introduce them to the love of Christ.

This also brought up another thought in me-if I’m not alone in these feelings and struggles, why do so few mothers talk about it? On social media we’re so eager to stay “surface close.” We’re sure to give our support in the form of likes and comments. We reach out to ask things like “where did you get that outfit!?” or “how do they like that snack/toy/book?” but when it comes to really supporting each other in stewarding the hearts of these children entrusted to us, it can be pretty quiet.

The more I’ve opened up to dear friends of mine with littles of their own about the difficulties of the current phases my kids are in, I’m so comforted to know they’re often in the same place. The isolation I experience can be so brutal I often forget I created it myself. So here I am, extending the same freedom to you.

I’d love to hear how I can pray for you in whatever season of motherhood you find yourself in right now. Whether it’s finding grace to survive endless sleepless nights with a nursing baby, guilt and stress while navigating the unpredictability of your toddler, a strained relationship with a teenager or even with your grown children.

I’m working on re-centering my focus, removing it from me and even from my little loves and placing it back on the Lord. The weight of the world was never meant for my shoulders, it rests light as a feather on His.


Thoughts for my Mother on Mother’s Day

I wrote the piece below on Mothers Day in 2013, almost exactly a year before I’d find out I was pregnant with a baby of my own. My mom is the complete opposite of me. I spent my whole childhood confident I’d never understand her, and yet three years after becoming a mother myself I realize we are all called to mother in our own way. We’re given children just for us. Grace just for us. Wisdom just for us. Endurance just for us. And inspiration from our own mothers, just for us. If I didn’t have a penny to my name, no roof over my head and no one to call mine- I’d still know the goodness of God because he chose me for my mom. Happy Mother’s Day, friends. 

Cherry Blossoms

One day early this month, we were sitting at the breakfast table going over what we’d each be working on that day. O was deciding whether he’d drive to Baltimore to check on our renovation project that morning or the next and I was planning on laundry and the park. I realized somewhere between making breakfast and clearing my plate that this was one of the last days the D.C. Cherry Blossoms would be in full effect. If you’ve never seen the Cherry Blossom Festival, pull out your phone and add it to some to-do list in your Notes app because guys, It’s magic. Magic for free! We’re never really spontaneous on weekdays but on this particular morning we found ourselves packing lunches and loading up the car for a day in the city. 


Oshiolema talks more than just about any kid I’ve ever met in my life. He stuck strictly to “Dada” “Mama” “more” and “that” for a what felt like a long time, but once he hit 18 and 20 months old he whipped out this vocabulary that blows my mind every day. At 3 years old he’s more curious than ever and his questions and commentary warm my heart or make me laugh til’ my stomach is sore. (Unless, of course, it’s him saying ridiculous things to Keogena or asking me the same question 30x a minute.) I keep a little journal of the stand-out things he says that I just know I want to look back on when the house is quieter. While each “how come” feels like a brick on my back at times, I’m so thankful for the way his brain works and for the opportunity to hear the many thoughts in there. Here are a few Oshiolema-isms as of lately: