Surprised by Motherhood

PopcornTree.March2014.jpg.

Her small hands peel back the covers to see if my eyes are open. Gently, I feel her fingers against my cheek as she loudly whispers, “Time to wake up mommy!”

I smile {with my eyes closed} and roll over.  It will take more than her sweetness to convince this tired mama to get out of bed. Hours of driving, sitting on wood bleachers, shouting and cheering for her big brother’s basketball games at a tournament the day before… has worn me out!

I tell Aster it’s still dark and that she needs to go back to sleep. Disappointed yet determined, she walks her little self over to the window, feels her way along the curtains to find the plastic wand so she can pull them back and show me it is NOT still dark. 

Not only is it NOT dark, it is time for breakfast and she knows just what we can eat!

PopcornTree2

Look Mommy!” She says, as she points her finger to the parking lot. “Wake up and eat popcorn. Seeeeeeeee. There’s a popcorn tree. When you shake it, popcorn falls off!”

Ahhh. Motherhood. It doesn’t come with much sleep, but it does come with popcorn trees! And so many other surprises.

Aster is one of God’s biggest surprises so far in this motherhood journey of mine. Only He could know how much I needed this girl of mine.

God birthed Aster in our hearts and brought her into our family four years ago, just as our boys crested the waves of teenage manhood. Obviously I needed a little more adventure, a lot more carpooling and a huge dose of unconditional love.

And God made sure I got it! All wrapped up in pink bows, giggles, snuggles, sleepless nights, developmental delays, sweet kisses, celebrations,  questions,  fears, happy tears, laughter and memories. So.many.memories.

Today I have a surprise just for you! Im giving away five copies of my new favorite book for the heart of moms, and those who mother in  other capacities: Surprised by Motherhood written by my friend Lisa-Jo Baker. I’m reading it now and  it’s so much more than a book; it’s dessert and friendship for my soul! Today, Lisa-Jo’s publisher has offered to give away 5 copies to five of you!! But first {this}! For days when you wonder if what you do matters, when it feels like the same thing stuck on repeat 365 days a year! Let this be your reminder:  you are braver than you know because you mother!

SurprisedByMotherhood BookcoverWhether you are a mother, have a mother, or have mothered in other capacities and felt inadequate for the job… this is a needed reminder that there is nothing ordinary about being a mother.

Enter to WIN: Simply click “Share Your Thoughts” below and do just that, or share your biggest “surprised by motherhood” moment or memory. We’ll randomly choose five winners and announce them here next week.

Comments

  1. Jessica F says:

    Motherhood is sure a surprise and nothing can prepare you for it :) We are a third unexpected surprise. Another boy for this sure tired mama. Thank you for your post and reminding us how great motherhood is.
    Blessings!

    • Lisa-Jo’s book has helped me remember the gift of this time as a mom, and see even the hard things through HIS eyes of grace. To celebrate the craziness and chaos and call it good because it’s all a gift from Him.

    • I can remember times when my little brother and I used to wake my mom up early on the weekends. My mom loved to sleep in on the weekends, as she didn’t have to get up early fo…r work. My brother had a habit of waking her up early, especially on special occasions like Christmas. Nevertheless, my mom smiled and enjoyed the time she had with us as little ones. “Her small hands peel back the covers to see if my eyes are open. Gently, I feel her fingers against my cheek as she loudly whispers, “Time to wake up mommy!”

      I smile {with my eyes closed} and roll over. It will take more than her sweetness to convince this tired mama to get out of bed. Hours of driving, sitting on wood bleachers, shouting and cheering for her big brother’s basketball games at a tournament the day before… has worn me out!

      I tell Aster it’s still dark and that she needs to go back to sleep. Disappointed yet determined, she walks her little self over to the window, feels her way along the curtains to find the plastic wand so she can pull them back and show me it is NOT still dark.

      Not only is it NOT dark, it is time for breakfast and she knows just what we can eat!

      Pin It
      “Look Mommy!” She says, as she points her finger to the parking lot. “Wake up and eat popcorn. Seeeeeeeee. There’s a popcorn tree. When you shake it, popcorn falls off!”

      Ahhh. Motherhood. It doesn’t come with much sleep, but it does come with popcorn trees! And so many other surprises.

      Aster is one of God’s biggest surprises so far in this motherhood journey of mine. Only He could know how much I needed this girl of mine.

      God birthed Aster in our hearts and brought her into our family four years ago, just as our boys crested the waves of teenage manhood. Obviously I needed a little more adventure, a lot more carpooling and a huge dose of unconditional love.

      And God made sure I got it! All wrapped up in pink bows, giggles, snuggles, sleepless nights, developmental delays, sweet kisses, celebrations, questions, fears, happy tears, laughter and memories. So.many.memories.

      Today I have a surprise just for you! Im giving away five copies of my new favorite book for the heart of moms, and those who mother in other capacities: “Surprised by Motherhood“ written by my friend Lisa-Jo Baker. I’m reading it now and it’s so much more than a book; it’s dessert and friendship for my soul! Today, Lisa-Jo’s publisher has offered to give away 5 copies to five of you!! But first {this}! For days when you wonder if what you do matters, when it feels like the same thing stuck on repeat 365 days a year! Let this be your reminder: you are braver than you know because you mother!”~Renee Swope I would think that parenting is difficult work. I don’t have any natural children; however, I do have a leopard gecko. I consider him my child. aring for him is difficult work, though, which is why God gave me the very best husband in the entire universe.

  2. Wanted to read this book and forgot the title….God, as always, reminded me through you!
    Thank you!

  3. After 2 kids, we decided that we were a perfect family. God had much different plans for us! We ended up with our third little surprise during a time we would NEVER have chosen ourselves, but of course, God provided for our every need!

    • Love that!! Only He knows. I would’ve never thought I’d have a 5 year old at the age of 47! But I am soooo glad I do!

  4. My biggest surprise in motherhood is how much I want to be home. I was the one, growing up, with dreams to work for National Geographic and travel all over the world writing. But motherhood has changed my heart. Nothing makes me more happy, more at peace and energizes me more than being at home after work with my hubby and two boys, playing balloon hockey in the living room, rearranging furniture for a game of “don’t touch the floor,” or having a water fight in the backyard and hearing giggles from over the fence as I stalk them with the hose. This is my happily ever after. I’m living my dream. Thank you Jesus, for my life.

    • Well you sound like a party waiting to happen! I wish I could come over and play at your house! Your kids are blessed and Im so glad God’s given you such a love for your family. I feel the same way. There is no place I’d rather be than with my husband JJ and our three kids.

  5. Every day with my boys is a joyful surprise, even when I am at my busiest I remind myself that these moments don’t last forever!

    • So wise. They don’t last long enough do they!? The days can sometimes feel long but the years go by so fast!

  6. It is one of the most unpredictable things in life being a mom, you don’t ever know what you children are going to say or do. Or if you will get to sleep through the night. Really grown me in my faith, that I know and I love every minute of it, even when I feel at the end of my rope! :)

  7. You always melt my heart with your Aster stories! Thanks for always sharing her.

    Love ya and Aster too!

  8. Christine says:

    I would love to get this book for my daughter-in-law. Both she and my son were definitely SURPRISED by motherhood when she recently discovered she was pregnant and had been taking birth control! She was just over 8 weeks pregnant when she found out. Everyone was stunned but joyous.

  9. I forgot to share my surprise – a bouncing baby boy after 10 years of having our daughter. What a wonderful journey in the waiting of having a beautiful daughter to share our lives for nine years before her brother arrived. As for mama, it’s been the most tiring, rewarding blessing I’ve ever had!

  10. Peggy Henderson says:

    I wold LOVE this book. We also have two girls who were born from our hearts. My husband and I participarted in the Foster to Adopt program in our home town. What an abslolute joy our two girls have brought to us. Claire is now 10 years old and Emily is 8. I love these girls so very much, but love to see God working in their hearts! They are going to be wonderful women after God’s very own heart!!

  11. Megan Pratt says:

    I was 35 when our first precious child was born. The most beautiful, dark-haired, red, wrinkled bundle of sweetness I had ever seen. As the first grandchild on my side of the family and surrounded by so many ‘grands’ and ‘great-grands’ she never lacked for attention. Madison was four and a half when the twins were born. At 36, I wondered many times in those early years of sleepless nights and chaos, why God chose ME to carry twins to 39 weeks (and then still have to have labor induced!). Needless to say, Madison loved her brother and sister while they were in the hospital. It was after we brought them home and she realized that they were there to stay that her lip poked out! She did not like sharing the attention AT. ALL!! It was only 14 years later when this wonderful, Christian, cheerleader, beauty queen, college honor student died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident that God’s plan came into such clear focus for me. You see, I did not stop being a mother on May 22, 2009. I had two 14-year-olds who needed their mother more than they ever would, to help them navigate their grief over losing the big sister they adored. And I needed these two precious children to remind me again that in the end, God’s plan is perfect, even when we don’t see it at the beginning.

  12. Being a mother has been the hardest job I have ever had. However, it has also been the most rewarding. And being a grandmother has been a wonderful blessing!

  13. Love the popcorn tree!
    It reminded me of when my daughter held her arm out the window going down the freeway and feeling the wind on her arm she said it felt like God was hugging her.
    Next time you need a hug try it. Blessings to all.

  14. Bonnie Pease says:

    being a mom was great but being a grandma is awesome!! my surprise was just how much more being a grandma means.. the world stops when my grandchildren are in my care, no laundry, phone calls or fussing- just loving and enjoying my time before the world resumes and their parents return.. thank you, Renee and if I don’t win the book I surely will buy it!! may God continue to bless you and your work.

  15. Julie Clooney says:

    I think the thing that has surprised me the most in my quest to become an adoptive mom is my unwavering commitment that this is the right thing to do. Do I have doubts, fears, anxieties? Of course I do. But I am steadfast in my belief that God is calling me to this vocation. So many times in my life there have been things I have wanted to do and I let my insecurities stop me but about this, nothing can stand in my way.

  16. As the mother of 3 children I’ve learned that it is the parent/parents, not the child/children, that are most blessed by adoption.Our world to be turned upside down with the addition of each child in a wonderful and positive way. I can truly say that my life that would have been extremely empty and much poorer without our son and daughters. They opened our hearts and home to an indescribable power of love.

  17. There are so many sweet & not-so-sweet surprises for me as a mom of 4, I can’t pick one. I have to say what I love the most are the ‘random’ (God-planned) compliments and “I love you”‘s every day.

  18. The biggest surprise of motherhood is how fast they grow up!

  19. Danielle kleber says:

    When one of my three boys (I don’t know which one) ranging from 8yrs old to 4 years old actually put the toilet paper roll on the holder! I mean one time is on the sink… The other it’s on the holder. :)

  20. Debra Rose says:

    Motherhood is challenging at times, but very rewarding. I am thankful for my children and grandchildren every day.

  21. My biggest surprise has been how God has taken me from being a threatening, repeating, screaming mom to one who can remain calm in the most difficult of circumstances. I have had some very challenging mom moments, from finding out my son was spending hours each day considering suicide, to trying to care for 3 small kids while my husband was deployed to Iraq for a year. God always gives us what we need, and I have been able to see how he has matured me in those difficult times. I wouldn’t trade them for anything!

  22. Lovely, sweet reminder. Just what I needed while struggling with purpose and guilt.

  23. I think the biggest surprise of motherhood for me is the tremendous amount of joy they bring me. Not that I didn’t think it would be joyous. Even the little moments just fill my heart, such as when I hear them laughing at something. The random hugs & kisses that occur when I need them most. I am overwhelmed, and so thankful to God every day for giving me the gift of motherhood.

  24. JoyceKay says:

    Oh how I would love to received this book. I am the mother of 5 beautiful children. At times they try to pull me in 5 directions and there are times when I can’t believe that God blessed me with these children. He trusted me to be a wonderful mom to them. They all have their own personality, all different but at time a little alike. My children are ages, 13, 12, 7, 6 and 3 years old. From volleyball practice, to baseball practice, girl scouts, my full time job outside of the house….this mommy can barely breath at times. But, I keep telling myself one day these children will be all grown up then I will have time to breath and will probably find myself longing for those over full days. Thanks so much for considering me for this give away you will do next week.

  25. Wanda Keil says:

    My motherhood surprise was having children at all….then six in a matter of a few years. Wouldn’t change a thing about it…loving every moment.

  26. I knew I would love my kids but nothing could prepare me for how much!! The love I have for them is a little glimpse of the love god has for us :)

  27. Sonja Bailey says:

    Having my 2 daughters was blessing as I was told I could not ` actually should not… I believe with my heart God made for me, that being a mom was the exact purpose meant for me … they are grown now have their own little ones but this heart still has full ability to love those babies … I thank God daily …

  28. Cindy Shelby says:

    My surprise motherhood moment is when my 11 year old son asked me to be a foster parent. When I asked him “why do you think we should become a foster family?” He said, “because you are the best mom ever, and I want other kids to know how great of a mom you are!” It made my heart leap.

  29. I was a single Mom for years and have two wonderful grown sons. I remember the struggles and the good, times. God has blessed me with a beautiful Great Grand Daughter that I get to spend time with and remember how precious it is. Blessings to you.

  30. Thank you for the reminder of the great moments that are never forgotten. Out of the mouth of babes. They often remind us that we need to be more like them. Thank you for the reminder to enjoy

  31. Although we didn’t have biological children, God gave me a Mama’s heart & I had the blessing of loving on nieces & nephews & having a daycare in our home. It was a sweet time of investing Jesus’ love into them. Some of them have/are making bad choices & it breaks my heart – I keep praying, trusting God to draw them back to Himself. It’s a joy when they call & want to spend time with Aunt Deb! Recently, several young women have ‘needed’ a Mama & God is, once again, giving me the opportunity to love ‘em & point them to Him. I’d love to have a copy of the book! Thanks!

  32. Lesli Arrington says:

    Hey Renee,
    First of all, I have to say how much I love and adore you. We share the same name :-) my middle name is Renee! You have always been an inspiration to me with God’s truth & also real life challenges for us Moms. Mothering is hard, yet wonderful. Exhausting, yet nobody screams or claps louder at my daughter’s softball games :-)
    My surprise has been that even though I spent all of my life around children, teaching, etc. Nothing & I mean nothing prepares you for mothering your own children. The wee little ones that we are entrusted with BY God are also the sweet reminders that we are to always LEAN on Him too. I’m so headstrong that I easily forget I cannot do anything without His guidance and grace. I too would love this book for a million reasons. Whether I am chosen or not, please just know you and all the other women who love & encourage us Moms are greatly loved, appreciated & prayed for. I love how you minister to us all. Thank you for your tender heart sweet lady! Much love to you & your beautiful family! XOXO

  33. Janet Daniel says:

    Renee,
    I love motherhood; but it can be very challenging at times. The days of heartbreak seems to out weigh the days of joy at times. But when you receive a hug or a big smile or a daughter telling you I’m sorry for being upset with you. You have to stop and say, God! Thank you for my lesson in humility. And say back I’m sorry we had a misunderstanding. When my daughter comes to me crying and tells me her problem it’s a blessing to know God gave me the wisdom to stop, listen, and tell her, I understand, hug her and tell her this shall pass, but it will make you stronger. When my daughter came to me for the first time ever and asks me to pray for her because of a problem; that is when my heart melts, and I remember why God made Moms. We are wise, we are compassionate, we know when they need a hug and when to discipline. He knew that we always love our children no matter what, and that we will always pray for them to follow God. We keep going no matter how long it takes; kind of like the energizer bunny that never stops. I believe being a mother is the greatest honor God gave us although most challenging. It teaches me over and over that I never stop learning and that I can never stop leaning on God to continue on my journey. I would love to receive the book to hand over to my children one day. I so happy I will be able to honor my Mom on Mothers Day!
    Thanks! Renee

  34. What a great book for mothers. Thanks for the opportunity to win one! I will definitely pass it on after I read it…as I am a GRAND mother now. :) My biggest surprise of ‘grandmotherhood’ is how God puts a HUGE love in our hearts for grandchildren! They are my biggest joy! I have 3 children and each have a boy and a girl – oh, the humor of God. :) They are all so special and so hard to leave, when we visit them all!
    Blessings to all mothers – and grandmothers! :)

  35. Denise S. says:

    Renee,
    My kids are in their 20′s now but today my daughter surprised me with an early Mother’s Day gift. She bought tickets for just us two to go to a Detroit Tigers Game on Mother’s Day. I love the Tigers and am so excited.
    I would love to read this book, but more importantly I would pass it on to my niece who is pregnant with her 1st child. So excited for her. Thank you!
    Happy Mother’s Day to all!

  36. Deborah Herbst says:

    Our kids are 18 and 21. I remember after our first was born, thinking and asking, “why didn’t anyone tell me how wonderful this?”. Nothing like that adorable baby whom I fell in love with, upon first sight! Then another adorable baby 2 years later.
    Ah now they are freshman and sophomore in college and it was been so difficult.
    However Proverbs 31 devo about “emptying and filling my nest” helped me see that God had more for me. It has taken almost a year but I have found comfort and ” mothering” in helping young couple with their 4 foster kids. Then at a recent ladies’ retreat, I volunteered just to hold a sign, not knowing what it was. The word for me was “matriarch”, no longer barren, helping come alongside other moms and families.
    We still love and parent our own 2 young adults but thankfully, the Lord is helping me to not feel or be barren.
    Thank you

    • I love that you are filling your nest with others to love. I know how much it means to me to have women a little older, wiser and more experienced in life and parenting to come along side of me and pray, encourage, mentor and just help me. I bet their nest is blessed because of you!

  37. All of my kids are grown now, but God has blessed us with another little one. My 4 year old grandson and he would say, “you are my MaMaw but you are my Mom, too. Love this little guy. It is fun once again to hear the laughter of a little one and be involved in pre-school activities.

    • My mom says that grandparenting is so much better than parenting because you just get to love them and then send them home ;)

  38. I am surprised by how hard it is to parent teenagers. Sigh! God is faithful and He is always by my side. “I can do all things (even parent teenagers!) through Christ who gives me strength.” :-)

    • Amen. It really is hard but don’t give up! We’re in that season too and it’s an every day seeking God and listening to His Spirit’s lead to know what to say, when to say it, when to just listen, affirm, encourage or lay down the law. :) Grace and truth, grace and truth!!

  39. nancys1128 says:

    I have no idea why this thought came to me, but after watching the video i feel like motherhood is the portrait of the best laid plans not going as planned – but it’s all good because the needed plans were the ones that got played out.

  40. I am a mother of 15 year old twins. (Boy, girl) my husband is a workaholic and not home much lately. My son needs his dad and because of his absence, my son and I butt heads frequently. One night after my son and I had ill words I went to check on my son and apologize for my behavior. What I found was my 175 pound son, feet poking out the bottom of his bed, sleeping while listening to KLOVE. A local Christian radio station. I gently kissed him on the forehead and knew he was in good hands of The Lord. I went to my room in tears and prayed that God would be there for my son in his fathers absence and that my father, Jesus Christ would be there for me.

    • Praying for you both. Fifteen was the hardest year for me with both of my boys. We butted heads a lot!! They want to be men, we need to still be mom but they feel like being the mom means they still have to be a boy. It’s a transition year and a new season for you both. But you will get through. God will be there with you both every step of the way!!

  41. Love. The overwhelming capacity to love them. And not just unconditionally, but how it keeps growing and growing. I guess I never thought it was possible to love someone so much. I love my husband a ton, but this is different. I imagine it’s just a glimpse of God’s love for me and all of us. So precious

    • I agree!! I cried when our firstborn came home. I loved him so much it hurt, and it scared me that I could feel that much love for my son, knowing there were no guarantees in the days ahead. It’s overwhelming to think God loves us that much and then some!!

  42. How just when I think I’ve figured everything out, it all changes again and again and again. God has grown me more through Motherhood than any other area of my life!

  43. Devon Sellers says:

    I Read the title and knew God wanted me to read this blog. We have been blessed with a newborn coming in August. We have a daughter who is a Senior in high school and will graduate in May. She will start college this fall. A little boy who is graduating pre-k in May and will start kindergarten in August. So we are starting all over. The title was perfect because yes our baby girl will be a surprised but oh the blessings that will come. God has decided He is still in control and knows what is best.

  44. One of my biggest Motherhood surprise was when I was told that in April of 2010 I was going to be a Mother again, what? at my age (45)! after my youngest of 3 was 17 years of age at that time and then God was not done with my surprise He was not only entrusting me again with a child, He will let him be born on the same day that his twin brother were born on January 1. You see one of the twins was called home in April 2006. It is challenging at times having a three year old running around and keeping up with although it just brings me joy when he reaches for my hand, and hugs and kisses me I just melt. I always say that there is never a dull moment in my house.

  45. Rebecca Shiplett says:

    What a precious story! Thank you for sharing. My sweet babies are grown and living on their own. When I start to miss them horribly (which is often) I’m reminded that God misses me when I don’t “check in” with Him on a regular basis. I can’t imagine loving anyone like I love my children and it’s incomprehensible to me that. God loves me more.

  46. jennifer says:

    Oh my! I have to laugh because it was not even 2 hours ago that I called a friend and passionately said,”I just am so tired of doing the same thing every single day. I am so exhausted with having to say the same things over and over again I am just going to start making signs for them to read!” Looks like a refreshing read. Homeschooling mom of 6, soon to be 7… refreshing reads that make moms feel valued are always so encouraging! Thanks!

  47. Tammy Gibson-Parker says:

    Motherhood, still a surprise almost 20 years later! But I’m glad that he still trusts me enough to tell me when he’s afraid and to share his tears with me!

  48. Sherrie Fairrell says:

    Am so blessed to have a wonderful adult son, Brandon. Am looking forward to this summer to be a first time Nana to little Zoe.

  49. Kimberly Kicklighter says:

    All I can say is that my 4 boys fill my heart with love and happiness each and every moment of the day.

  50. I had a bit of a rough time with my last pregnancy. My husband and I separated and it was just me my kids and this new baby growing. God kept me going becausr I know this baby has a purpose. When I delivered him earlier this year it was my most difficult birth but when I saw him it was all worth it. It didnt matter that his father was bot there God was there and had made him whole. They told ne at my 5 month ultrasound that he could had a brightspot in his heart that there was sonething in his brain and that he may have down syndrome but I rebuked all that in the name of Jesus from the moment I heard it I kbew God would bless my child. Today I claim my child is a miracle made whole by our Lord.

  51. Mia Herne says:

    Renee , I so enjoyed your writing . God knows how to bless us in unique and special ways.
    From the time I was a young girl my dreams were to be a mom and a wife.
    God had other plans for me . As a single gal I had a hysterectomy at the age of 41. The night before my surgery I was watching a reality program about critically ill babies. God spoke to my heart . He said , ” Mia I am sparing you this. ” I might say I assisted friends in the riasing of th eir children and they are now adults whom I am very proud of as they serve the LORD.
    For several years my babies were my birds. I raised cockitiels, parakeets and one small parrot. I hand fed many of the babies. At age 50 , my job at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Assoc. came to an end with the relocation to NC. . God sent me home to be my Mom’s care giver and to make peace with my past. In 2008 , Mom went home to be with the LORD in June. In August that year I met the man of my dreams online . We met and became engaged in October and married in December -the Sunday before Christmas. When I at the age of 56 said I do to my Joe I became a step mom to 4 men and grandmother to 4 grand children. In October we will be welcoming #5 who is a special miracle. Mom and Dad are not married and have gone thru some rough spots. The dad called his father to ask him his view on abortion. As we are Christians you know how he answered. I was near by praying a sI heard what they were discussing. Two days later, Joe called Joey back to see what was going on. When they were having that first conversation , mom and dad were in the parking lot of the abortion clinic. They realaized they couldn’t go thru with this . Afterall the mom did not believe in abortion. Today I bought a special journal. Its yellow and on the cover is a verse from the Bible —Every good gift …is from above. James 1 :17 ! This journal is being written with special messages to be given to this little one when he/she is old enough to understand that they are a precious miracle. Oh my other kids are 4 kitties and 3 dogs !

  52. I was surprised the first time I realized my children with “special needs” – their needs are grace to me – somehow their additional needs are exactly what I need to love Jesus more. And God knew that I needed them, and that they needed me – exactly me, with all my faults and messiness. :)

  53. I have been wanting to get this book since seeing it previewed by Lysa. My type A personality could use this book–the reminders of Gods grace and not needing to be “perfect.”

  54. Colleen Kennedy says:

    My fiancé and I just lost his 9-year-old son, Nicholas, in a fatal car crash that also took the life of his friend and attorney earlier this month. John was injured but has physically recovered. While Nick, who had been without a mother for 4 years (his mom died), was not of my body, he was and will always be of my heart. I never got to hold him but I know we will meet in heaven and he always kissed my picture before he went to bed. This has been hard on John and I both but I have the sense that God will bring us to a child who needs us in the future, much as you and your husband have done, Renee. We are not young but we have resources and when we have healed we will ask God to help us and give us His guidance and wisdom and great love for another child or children. Thanks be to God in all things.

  55. My babies are now adults and searching for their path in life. Unfortunately we are going through a very rough time right now , they are not speaking to me. Watching this video reminded me of the ecial moments I shared with them when they were little. God is in charge and will guide them and protect them.

  56. Your stories bring a smile to my face as I remember my two children growing up. The time goes by so fast. It’s hard for me to believe that my children are grown. I love being a mom and am blessed to be a grandma. I drop everything when given a chance to spend time with my grandson. I can’t get enough of his hugs, smiles, giggles and funny sayings. A book like this would have been helpful when my children were small and I can’t wait to share this book with my daughter.

  57. Charlene A. says:

    Wow!! I think I was surprised at how difficult it could be sometimes raising 3 children and how relieved I felt when I realized that most mothers were going through and feeling the same things that I was. Never realized just how hard the teenager/young adult years would be. Sometimes so overwhelming and just feeling helpless. It is so hard learning to let go. But Proverbs 31 has been a Godsend during those difficult and trying times.
    Also when my daughter was in a serious car accident, I was surprised at the strength and peace and love and comfort that God graced me with during such a difficult time. He knows just what we need and when we need it. Thank you God for always being here for me. And thank you Renee for this giveaway and all the wonderful ways you use your God given talent to serve God by serving us.

  58. How sweet! What a beautiful story and a really precious daughter.

    I never had a little girl, just twin boys. I had two miscarriages, so I had to give up the idea of ever having a daughter. But, I do remember on certain little girl that was so very dear to my heart. This was before I even had children of my own. My husband and I lived in Ft.Stewart, Georgia. We took some of the neighborhood children to church each week.
    The little girl that lived across the street from us would go with us quite often, in fact she went with us on Sunday night. She was not always cleaned up, she had lost her front teeth, and hair was not always combed, but I loved her so much. I will never forget the time she fell asleep in my husband’s arms in church. On the way home, she said she was hunger, so we stopped and got her a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. Later, I noticed hundreds of beer cans around her house and I just wanted to cry, because I did not know what kind of conditions her home life might be like. I still pray for her sometimes. It breaks my heart when I think of the little girl that is so sweet and I just pray God has protected her over the years.
    Children are from the Lord and so innocent. They need our love and comfort.

    I thought I would share with you something I wrote when my boys were small:

    Do other mother’s struggle as I do, Lord
    Is their day filled with little voices that call “Mama”
    every few minutes during the day?
    Is Winnie the Pooh, Barney and cartoons apart of their day?
    And do other mother’s see those little faces light up when
    they are so anxious to share something they made at school?
    Do they share in things like reading, playing games and prayer at night?
    Do they enjoy warm, wonderful hugs that make their morning so bright, even while they are half-asleep?
    God bless my children in a special way,
    Those little eyes that watch everything I do,
    Help them keep their eyes on You.
    Those little hands and arms,
    Help them not to push or shove
    But help them reach out to others in love.
    Those little hearts that are so very tender,
    Help them be filled with Your Holy Word.
    Those little feet that like to run and play,
    Help them to follow You everyday.
    Those little children, I love so dearly
    Hold them tight
    Keep them from Satan with all your might.
    And when I make mistakes,
    I raise my voice or I am unkind,
    Take me too, Lord in Your arms
    Give me the strength to be more like You.
    Help me to do no harm, but give You the glory
    How do other mother’s do it, Lord
    Not without You
    Help me raise my children for You.~joyce

  59. Amy Willbanks says:

    Ahh, the surprises of motherhood. My most recent surprise was exactly one year ago today when I found out I was pregnant at the age of 38. I had been off of birth control for over 7 years and thought it just wasn’t God’s plan for us to have another. I have grown children and never thought I would be starting all over again. It’s ok though. We know we are blessed beyond words.

  60. Joycelyn says:

    Wonderful post, Renee!
    Not only am I a mother of 4 ( 1 deceased), and a grandmother of 7, I am also called Mom by many of the young men and women in My neighborhood. It is such a blessing to show love, God’s love, to all of these gifts of God.
    I am so happy that God created me female, a mother, grandmother, and most assuredly His child. I can honestly say that Motherhood is the best profession one can have.

  61. The biggest surprises for me was first how my heart could grow with love as we added a second child to our family and secondly, how much love I would feel watching my firstborn fall in love with his baby sister. These are things just reading about could never prepare me for.

  62. Being a mom is the best thing that has happened to me I had 4 surprises (none of them planned) I have a son who is 12 a daughter who would be 9 ( she died in my 38 th week of pregnancy) while I was pregnant my ex had a daughter who I now help raise and she is 8 and I have a daughter who is 2. They all are very precious to me and even though it’s not how I planned it it all is so worth it.

  63. Carol Ann Pennington says:

    I guess my biggest surprise of motherhood was that I could love someone so much who was so different from me. My son is a very quiet introvert, while I am a boisterous extrovert. Not until he was born did I even reach out to quiet people. He has taught me to appreciate different personalities better than anyone before him could. I love him, motherhood and the transformation he has helped me with.

  64. Becky Snyder says:

    One of my biggest surprises was when our 5 year old son came down to dinner one night and started quoting parables word for word from Scripture. He had given our children the Bible tape to listen to when they went to bed. He quoted over 10 parables. He is our middle child and “challenged” in many ways. He turned 26 this year and is getting married the end of May!

  65. Nikki Sapp says:

    My sweet three and a half year old girl had a day of diarrhea and amongst all the fun and challenges of that during potty training season we had a Little Mermaid marathon. At one point I hear “No Ariel don’t do it! NO Don’t do it! Uggghhh…Ariel never listens to her father.” Made me smile for sure. So much joy we get as moms even on our hard days. Gotta love it! Thank.you for gentle reminders.

  66. My dear sweet friend Leanne would love this book. My friend and her husband took up an adventure 9 years ago when they decided to adopt. With no children of their own came the first sweet baby boy followed by only a few months later a request for another sweet baby boy. They are raising these precious boys in God’s unconditional love. God was calling the two of them this past year to foster and a few months of questions on exactly what that meant to them God blessed them with a 5 day old precious baby boy to love and care for in hopes that the young mother and boyfriend could get back on the right track. Jeremiah is almost 8 months and God had a plan for him and them as well. This precious boy has brought so much love, joy and the sense of God’s humorous ways into their household. Thanks for a chance to share something with someone who never imagined being a mother and the joy that adoption and fostering has brought her. Somedays we all need a simple reminder of God’s Greater LOVE for us all, HIS CHILDREN!

  67. Today I was just thinking how I used to be able to go shopping and do things by myself, but now I have two little ones and I enjoy them more than any thing. Yes there are moments where I want to pull my hair out, but I know I am blessed beyond belief.

  68. I’m surprised at the confidence God has in us! Three boys under three (one and then 16 months later, twins!) has been a whirl wind. Motherhood is nothing what I expected, but I have learned so much and it is quite a journey, but I am so thankful for God’s direction and for His GRACE

  69. Lisa moore says:

    I miss the days of small kids and their love of daily life. Now I have young adults trying to find their way in the world. I still melt when they bless me with a hug and say I love you mommy.

  70. Chris Hicks says:

    Motherhood always surprises me because things in our family life always changes. I think the most surprising thing that has happened tome as a Mother is when I finally let my daughter go her own way. I made a decision to let her make her own mistakes, go her own way and pray for God’s will in her life. Although I still worry sometimes I realize she is a grown-up now and I love her and I let God .

  71. A Mom is so much more than SHE will ever know. We take them for granted but can’t do without them. They are more important than we or they will ever know

  72. Rhea Chladek says:

    My “surprised by motherhood” moment holds a bit of guilt on my part.
    When my now-nearly-13 year old daughter was about 4 or 5, she had a voice that was similar to what I would guess would be Minnie Mouse on helium, especially when she was excited.
    One morning, I was exhausted, and it seemed that every 2 minutes, I would hear her yell, “MOM!” This would be followed by her asking for something or other.
    After about the 10th time, my frazzled nerves snapped…I yelled, “WHAT!!???”
    She looked at me, her sweet brown eyes meeting mine, and said in her sweetest voice, “I love you, Mommy.”
    I gave her the biggest hug, and slunk my 1 inch tall self back to my room for a nap…

  73. The surprises, for me, are like Aster’s popcorn tree; it’s those funny little things they say and do, having the opportunity to see life or the world thru their innocent little perspectives.

  74. Chris Kraemer says:

    I am a mom of 6 biological children and two step children and it sure has been challenging and exhausting. But being a mom was always my dream and God has truly blessed me. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The things that surprised me the most about motherhood were how you can love them so very much from that first flutter in the womb even before you ever see them, and how it can be the most difficult job yet the most rewarding. Thanks for sharing your story of Aster and the popcorn tree. Moments like that are truly priceless.

  75. I have been so blessed and so thankful to have happened on your blog. I love your thoughts and wriitng and your wriitng has inspired and encouraged me. Thank you.

  76. Renee… I’m not writing to try to get into the drawing {though that book sounds inspired and amazing.} I clicked on your name after reading your comment on the (in)courage piece, and your words are balm for my weary soul. I can’t even quite place it. You just feel safe. And authentic. And like someone I need for guidance right now. I just look at your picture, read your story, and tears spring to my eyes. So, I’ll be stopping by quite a bit. :)

  77. I can’t really say that my children were unexpected. God blessed me with the gift of a dream when I was around 9 years old and showed me my children. I anxiously awaited each one. =)

    Motherhood is surprising in the way my children amaze me everyday. Literally!

    Bridgette, my oldest, surprises and amazes me everyday after so many years of doctors telling us that she would have to live with these “special needs” like her allergies that used to get so bad that she’d land herself in the hospital for several days at a time. Or telling us her seizures are now a new constant in her life… even though, she’s now been seizure free for 1 year.

    Kaeden, my son. Wow! He is so smart and comprehends so quickly, I rarely have to repeat myself when teaching him something new. However…. I repeat myself 20 times to brush his teeth or clean his room. Those 2 seem to be impossible for him to learn without mommy. LOL.

    Elizabeth, my lil baby. We almost didn’t think we were going to have her since I had had a miscarriage a few years prior, which we thought was our 3rd child from the dream. Then… SURPRISE!!! One more!!! =) I love how smart she is at two years old in comprehending spiritual stories and prayers already. When she prays, she whispers and tells me that she’s telling God a secret or a story. Easter Sunday, after Sunday School, I pick her up from the nursery. “Baby,” I ask. “What did you learn today?”

    With HUGE blue eyes, she says, “Momma!!! Jesus? Him was on the cross, but Him got down-did and then Him go u there momma!” she exclaims pointing up. “Oh really? He got off the cross and went to heaven?”

    Hand on that hip and a serious look and tone, “No Momma! Him got down and go up in a cloud!” LOL! I love it. She’s so smart and so cute. =)

  78. I was surprised by the crazy beautiful roller coaster ride in the everyday life of motherhood. How tiny arms hugging my neck can make all those negative thoughts disappear in an instant. :)

  79. For the last several years God has been whispering to my heart that He wants me to be an earthly mother to one of His children. Only recently am I allowing this calling to really sink in. I would LOVE to be a Mom but at the same time I feel totally unqualified. My husband and I are taking the prospects of parenthood slowly. We know there is brokenness between us that God wants to mend first so we can welcome our child into a safe and happy home. In the meantime, I believe God is preparing both of our hearts and shaping our characters for this next phase in our journey together. Renee, thanks for sharing this resource. It looks like an awesome book.

  80. Myrt Farr says:

    My biggest surprise of motherhood was that sometimes there is a lot of worry and pain which caused me to turn to The Lord. When our middle daughter was four years old, she was diagnosed with ALL (acute lymphoblastice leukemia) her white cell count was 142,000 where is should have been in the 20,000 range. When trying to do a bone aspiration her bone marrow was so thick and it was difficult to extract. She was extremely fatigued and often times in pain. The doctors pulled her chemotherapy proto col out of a hat, which was called The New York Protocol.” It was so very aggressive and even doing that and cranial radiation, the prognosis was a 20% chane of survival for a two year period. I made many trips to Primary Cildren’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah-some were late at night because her immune system was so low the she would spike fevers of 104 degrees, I remember crying while I was driving her, pleading to God that if he were going to take her, to just do it and take her out of her pain! She looked like the little girl on the copper tone ads before diagnosis; such a blonde haired, blue eyed beauty. By God’s Mercy and Grace, she beat the odds! After seven years in remission we were told that her chances of ever getting this again was one in three hundred and fifty thousand. The doctors told us that because of the aggressiveness of the chemo she probably would not be able to have children. Imagine our surprise when she told us she was pregnant and gave birth to sweet little Otto this past November! He is a beautiful, healthy baby boy who has the sweetest disposition! We are so very blessed and give praise and glory to our Lord and Saviour for this little miracle! Such a surprise for this mother and grandmother and, again, giving me the assurity that He truly had us in the palm of his hands! god always gave me the assurity that Lexy would survive, but to bless us with this sweet little grandson was one of the best gifts we were given!

  81. My biggest has to be how much they inspire me and make me come alive.

  82. Wynne Phillips says:

    I am a mother of 3 grown children. There were many surprises over the years, but at this stage in my life, I think the experience of being a grandmother to two little girls (22 months and 3 weeks!) is the biggest surprise! I never thought I could experience the deep and fierce love I have for my children again. However, the first time I held my granddaughter, that love came flooding back. It is almost better than being a parent-I can love them more confidently and freely without all the doubt and questions (am I doing everything right?) that comes with parenthood. And another huge blessing is watching my grown son be a father. It has brought out a tender and nurturing side of him that I had not seen before. God is so good!

  83. All I can say, that I have not been blessed with this soft a disposition, when my children have woken me up early, when I could have slept longer….but God has been faithful and given me the grace when I failed my children and was tougher on them, then I probably should have.

    We grow up with our own Bagage and then we have children….as much as we love them, it’s not always easy and you can get very frustrated and discouraged at their attitudes sometimes…..yet: I owe my spiritual growth and my close walk with Christ to these challenges and thus to my children and all the other people that represented challenges in my life.

    God has been faithful and changed my mind and I am growing more and more into this gentle mother that I probably should have been all along – but my heart needed healing first.

    God has done it and is doing it – so I would love to read the book…..and learn about another mom’s journey of grace and patience – and maybe receive a bit more healing along the way.

    God bless you ❤️

  84. One of the biggest surprises of motherhood for me is my three children showing unconditional love to me, even when I have some tired, frazzled, not so great mommy moments. They definitely show me God’s love and compassion in the sweetest ways.

  85. Motherhood is so full of surprises. I had three girls never dreaming I would have anymore and do to some changes in my life I ended up remarrying and six years after my last daughter I had a son. He is now a Pastor and has just had their first little girl. Thank you God for surprising me with a fourth child.

  86. Stephanie says:

    That regardless of how much my kids don’t listen, that parenting is so hard and draining, that you care for others way more than you thought possible, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Motherhood is the bee’s knees! :)

  87. I really just can’t believe how well I can function without sleeping for years! I was a good 8-10 hour sleeper before kids :)

  88. Mindy Serrano says:

    Good morning, I’m Mindy and I have 4 daughters who are the light of my life! My oldest daughter is almost 23, she has been married for almost 3 years and has a daughter herself that is 6 months old. She is a delight! My second daughter is TaNisha, almost 20. She is still looking for her path in life and I continue to pray that she will follow Jesus. Santanna is 14 and just made the high school cheer team!!! And last, but not least, is my Toani(toni). She is 3, and is the most beautiful little girl ever! She has been diagnosed with Epilepsy. She also has low muscle tone and speech delays. Our days have many struggles, I wake up every morning to spend time with The Lord, other wise I would not Make it through the day. I Love your emails, they give me encouragement and peace, Knowing I’m not the only mom with struggles! Thank you for always helping!
    I would love a copy of the book :)
    God bless

  89. Motherhood .. What a blessing, mostly sleepless & selfless but the joys are like no other and truly priceless. Priceless that we a chosen & entrusted to care, nurture, encourage, teach, discipline, direct and LOVE little people of our own
    and at times others. Little people that will one day impact this world with Gods love.. Motherhood is filled of many surprises .. Good and sometimes not too good but I wouldn’t trade them for anything! Thank you

  90. I would love to give a copy of this book to my cousin. She and her husband is getting ready to bring home their fist adopted child.

  91. I’m not a mother yet, but stories like this make me excited for the future.

  92. I would love to read this book because I could use a little “dessert”..My mom passed away in November and this will be my first Mother’s Day without her and I am wrestling with challenges of mothering 4 “adult” children (19 & 22 yr old boys & 26 & 28 yr old girls) Sometimes I feel like the last time I felt competent was when they were toddlers!

  93. Blessed with 4 daughters….Jacqueline lives in California , is a brilliant researcher in neuroscience…Lindsey is an awesome mom with a 2yr old (we just lost her husband to Lupus), Kelly is a very loving, kind and fun girl in her first year of college, going to be a RN like me, and Jessie has just moved back home with me after living with Dad for 9 Years. So thankful for my daughters, 26, 25, 18, and 17 years old. I should have had more faith in God while they were younger, many times of worry, that I would be a good mom. Now I leave those worries at the foot of the cross. Would love. A copy of the book..

  94. There is a lot of surprised by motherhood moments, but I’ll share one of the latest. Two days ago, after a long and hard day, I said to my 5year old son:
    ‘Sorry I shouted at you today’
    I he replied:
    ‘Sorry I was naughty today..’ and he gave me a big hug!
    I really didn’t expect that and it was beautiful!!
    Nadia

  95. I remember when our daughter was handed to us for the first time and asking where is the manual? HaHa!!
    God, was the manual because from day 1 you have to hold that little miracle up to Him to give you the help to guide you through their little thoughts. That was 32 years ago and another daughter born and now 8 grandchildren. We have truly been blessed.
    Good luck to everyone on getting a copy of the book.

    Renee – love Asher’s response to the tree – looking like popcorn – make sure that is recorded somewhere for her later down the road. We love your family – all of them. Hope your mom is doing well.

  96. Pat Hill says:

    Renee – sorry – I just realized I spelled Aster wrong – I am so sorry.

    thanks

  97. Laurel Wycoff says:

    I struggle every day parenting 4 children as a single mother. But I know that I would not want to miss a single day without my babies in my life. I miss them greatly when they are away from me visiting with their Nana and big brother.

  98. Robin Still says:

    I love being a mommy…I love that God entrusted me with 4 beautiful blessings. One (of many because there are so many) of my most happy moments was when I was given a son after two daughters…wow what a difference. I am learning that there is only go and sleep…he eats more that I can ever keep up with, he makes me laugh and smile…He tries to act all tuff but deep inside he is a sensitive little man. Oh how I try to be a good mommy to all of them. Sending one to college this year just about sent me over the edge…but oh how she has grown too! Would not trade any of them for anything in the world. I love reading your post and they always seem so timely. Have a blessed afternoon!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Robin :)

  99. Amanda Evans says:

    My biggest surprise was the discovery of my third pregnancy when my second was just 8 months old. Now I am blessed with 3 sweet little boys.

  100. Lesley Geer says:

    My little boy just turned 5 and talks as if he is 25, he is always surprising me with some of the words he says. My most recent surprise-he was reaching up to the counter to get his cup, I walked over beside him to make sure he could reach it. He turned and looked at me and said, ‘I don’t need any assistance’. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard!

  101. Annette D. says:

    I also have an adopted blessing after 2 biological children. I lost my first hubby to cancer and am now blessed with a stepdaughter as well…. God knew the perfect way to fill my mother’s heart :)

    blessings,
    Annette

  102. Sandy Bizon says:

    My “babies” will be 25, 21 and 17 this year. Time goes by much too quickly. My daughter will be a senior in high school in the fall, and I already know it will be a very tough time – trying to enjoy every soccer game & band activity yet knowing this is her last year & my last year doing all those things with her. I will definitely try to enjoy every minute of it!

  103. I won’t forget when we were having our breakfast and my 2 yr old girl said to her other baby cousin (3yrs old) – she was imitating a prayer infact she was praying, “Jesus…..Jesus for me”. Am so blessed hearing my baby girl praying and reading her memory verse (bible text) every morning when we have our devotion, she would read loud and clear and that always brings tears of joy to my eyes to see how God has lead me thru difficult times since birth and my baby’s birth til now.

    Would love to have the book to share with my sisters and girl-friends (Mothers) :-)s

    God bless

  104. How AmazingIt Would Be To Have This Book!

  105. I was very surprised by motherhood both times! It is so very challenging, but such a huge blessing and growing experience <3 We are on the journey to adopting another child and are excited and nervous all over again!

  106. Elisabeth says:

    At the age of 4 1/2 Sarah, we told Sarah, “No baby, Mommy can’t have anymore babies.” Without hesitation and with the faith of a child, she replied, “I asked Jesus. He said YES.” I replied, “Sweetheart sometimes God’s answer is NO.” Again, without hesitation & the faith of a child, she replied, “And sometimes He just wants us to wait! Jesus told me that I am going to have a baby sister!” As she told me this, I had just completed a super strength radioactive iodine treatment for my 2nd battle with thyroid cancer. We had a made a decision for Sarah to stay home with me another year and start kindergarten as a 6 yr old. We wanted for her & I to have that time together. On her first day of preschool that year, I picked her up as usual. It was usual, except for the horrible nausea & my roller coaster blood sugars. Through much prayer & faith and against the odds of nationally acclaimed doctors at the Houston Medical Center, Hannah was born before Sarah started kindergarten. When Hannah was 8, she informed her Children’s Minister, “God has big plans for me! He brought me here when the doctors said I wouldn’t be here.” She then proceeded to tell him her story. “I’m here because my sister, Sarah, prayed & prayed for a little sister and Jesus told her yes.” The fact that she can acknowledge this at such a young age and share her story is one of many surprises of motherhood.

  107. Jill Kuiper says:

    Motherhood is full of surprises, the fun everyday surprises. As much as we struggle as mothers, the thing that continues to surprise me is the little things they do for us. As much grief as they can give us, just the simple gesture of when walking, my 10 year old son reaches to hold my hand every time! Wow! Words cannot express!!! Listening to my daughter pray for me at night just melts my heart. I shouldn’t be surprised as I have tried teaching them the little things in life, but it does still surprise me. In a good way though!

  108. Patti Coiner says:

    I have a friend who is pregnant with her 4th child. She is a very busy mother ! Ages 6,4,2, and one on the way! She really needs this book!

  109. Shannon J says:

    I have a lot of motherhood surprises with a 4 yr old girl and 3 yr old boy. My husband and I tried for our oldest 4 1/2 years before I got pregnant. So our big surprise was her brother came along 13 months after she was born. He was a surprise, but a nice surprise. God’s timing is a LOT BETTER than ours is!!! God has made some things work, when we didn’t think they would. Thanks for reminding me of all the BLESSINGS of motherhood that are so easy to forget in the busyness of day to day.

  110. I want to win this book!! I can’t wait to get my hands on this book! Motherhood has taught me how selfish I am. They say that marriage does that and it has but it has been NOTHING compared to what motherhood had shown me about my selfish-self. But it is a blessing. This motherhood journey. A blessing from an all knowing God!

  111. Terri Kirk says:

    Wow. This brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. So wonderfully said. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  112. I love everything there is about motherhood. My husband and I were told we were not going to be able to have any children at all due to some major female issues. Little did we know that God had totally different plans for us. We were blessed with our “baby” boy 19 years ago. He actually just turned 19 on the 28th of April. We wanted him to have a sibling so we tried our chances for another one. We did not succeed in having another baby, but we have been blessed beyond measure with our son. I can not imagine my life without him…..the good the bad and the ugly….that is what has made this journey of motherhood so special. Would love to win this book for my niece. She just recently married and with the combined family have 4 children that are 3, 4,5 & 6 with one due on June 11th. Thank you for sharing your stories…love hearing all of them. Blessings to you!

  113. One of my biggest surprises as a mom recently is that we have worked on teaching our daughter a little about money; spending, saving and sharing, but she has been all about spending. She is not much spoiled but has had a spoiled attitude, and didn’t want to share, didn’t want to give, only receive, receive and spend, spend, spend… we have worked so hard on this, especially the last months, but I couldn’t see any progress.

    A day last week my mother gave my daughter a little money to spend in a toy-store. She could choose whatever she wanted. She chose something that cost a third of what she had gotten. We went back to use the rest of the money and she couldn’t decide because she wanted EVERYTHING. At last she got a dollar more from my mother to buy something she really liked. And I thought….Uh-Oh…Will she get even more of the spoiled attitude now?

    Before I could get her in the car seat she held the last piece she had bought in front of me, a little pony-figure she really had wanted for herself, and said ” Mom, I want you to have this”. I was about to tell her that I was happy she wanted to give, but she could keep it for her self. Then I asked why she wanted to give it to me. She said, ” Because this is so nice and I want you to have it”. My eyes watered with tears and I accepted gratefully.

    Usually when she has given me things before, she want them back within the next ten minutes. This time it was differently. She keeps checking up on where I place the little pink pony, and I tell her I am looking for a extra special place for it.

    I am so surprised by how much my little five year old can surprise me!

  114. My biggest surprised by motherhood moment was when my daughter became a mom & she told me that she hoped she could be the kind of mom I was because she knew that a lot of times we wouldn’t be where we were if it wasn’t for the sacrifices I had made. That surprised me, because I had to work so much I felt like I really failed as a mom. That made it all worth it. To have my daughter tell me she wanted to be the kind of mom I was. God is good!

  115. Susan F says:

    My two biggest surprises were how different each child was from the other. It often seemed like what would work with one would not work with another. The other big surprise was how much your parenting has to grow and change. Teenagers were a challenge for me.

    We have four daughters. The last one graduates this year. I have noticed Motherhood doesn’t end when they move out and on. You are always a mother.

    I think parenting is the most fun in the world and also the hardest job in the world. It is all worth it!

  116. I loved your story about the popcorn. kids are so special and each one so unique. Thanks for offering the book and the story!!

  117. I was not able to have my own natural children. My husband has a daughter from his 1st marriage. We knew she had some mental disabilities and was very immature for her age. She got pregnant at 18 and married the young man, whom also had some issues like here. On the day her son was born, I was at the OB and my husband and I had decided that me being able to have a child was in God’s hands, not ours or doctors or fertility drugs. Once we got home we found out our daughter was having her baby, Tyler. Due to circumstances beyond her control we ended up raising this sweet child. He is also autistic, which we discovered years later. But when the issue comes up about me not having children of my own, he tells me, “momma God didn’t give you any kids cause he knew I was going to need you!”. Out of the mouth of babes. My baby is now 21 years old and still is with us due to his autism and I love him and his mom both dearly.

  118. I am surprised (actually, not any longer) by how much character has been wrought through my mothering years. I actually thought I had so much to offer, but now I realized that being a mom has trained me and honed me and gotten me on my knees like I never knew I needed, “way back then”!
    God is so very good to give us these blessings in disguise!

  119. Andrea says:

    My husband and I had our first child (a boy) 11 months after we were married. He lit up our world, and with his birth, I entered the journey of motherhood. In the next six years, God blessed us with two other boys also. As a little girl, my heart’s deepest longing was to be a wife and a mommy…nothing else. Raising three rambunctious little boys was a challenge at times. (Okay, to be honest it was challenging most of the time!) I made so many mistakes in their growing up years, yet God is more powerful than my blunders of motherhood, and now as they are 21, 19, and 15 years old I see the hand of God moving in their lives.

    My biggest surprise in my journey of motherhood came seven years ago this month when I discovered that we were going to have another baby! At the age of 35 and with our youngest at that time being 8 years old, we were “starting over.” We used a midwife for our birth, and it was music to my ears when my husband announced to me, “It’s a boy!” Four boys…how blessed we were. Fast forward 3 1/2 years, and we find out once again we’re expecting another baby! I had just celebrated my milestone birthday of turning 40, and we embraced this new little one growing within me. Being pregnant at 40 is much different than being pregnant at 20! God was with us, though, and one week before my husband’s 45th birthday, we welcomed our fifth baby boy into our family! God is so good.

    I am blessed to be the mother to 5 awesome boys, 1 daughter-in-love, and 1 sweet granddaughter! That’s right…I’m a grandma now too. God has been teaching me so much in these last seven years. I have grown to know the Lord in a deeper way than I did when our three oldest boys were little. I think to myself, “If I had only practiced then the things that I’m learning about now.” But I’m discovering that even though my older boys don’t need my constant help and guidance as they did when they were little, they still give my plenty of things to pray about as they’re young in their adult lives and facing the responsibilities and challenges of being godly young men in today’s society. My two little guys will be with me for a long time yet, and I’m thankful God is giving me the opportunity to train two more young lives to be leaders and servants for Him. Being a grandma, I now have the responsibility of helping shape and influence the hearts of my granddaughter and future grandchildren. Thank you for the teaching and encouragement you give on this website to moms (and grandmoms) like me who desire to be all God wants us to be.

  120. Mothering and nurturing never ends for the constant mother. After our own eagles take flight, we nurture neighborhood children and grandchildren, and elderly parents that have regressed to childhood…….God is great in his mighty plan and purpose, the intricate design and workings of a mothers heart!

  121. Motherhood is something one must live to really grasp. I say this with my oldest only being 9 and my youngest 4 sandwiched around my 5 and 7 year old. I know I haven’t grasped what I’m really doing yet, but over the past 3 days I’ve been seeing the possibilities as I teach them at home. I was not a person I personally would have picked for this job, yet my Maker is making me that person. I have lacked this confidence for oh, about the last 10 years of my life and He has been building it in me slowly, methodically. I literally must remain in His presence all day just to survive. Yet, it’s not surviving. Somehow, it is flourishing. And I can only give the glory to my risen Savior Who is making this wave move forward. The reward is in the smiles, the laughter,the comments of “You’re the best Mom in earth.” But Jesus and I, yeah, we know it’s Him doing it. And it’s a good place to be.

  122. Meredith says:

    I will have to say that my most surprised by motherhood moment was when we founf out that we were having a 4th child. We were content with our family of 5, but God said, “let there be 6!” I was actually 4.5 months pregnant before we even knew. I wasn’t sick and hadn’t gained weight. I thought I had an IUD in place and that there wasn’t any way at all that I could be pregnant!!! I went to the doctor thinking that they were going to find a mess inside of me, however, what we found was a healthy baby boy kicking around! I called my husband who was expecting news of a D&C or some other medical procedure, and told him the news. At first, he didn’t believe me and thought I was pulling his leg. It was hilarious! We cried and then laughed because we really didn’t know what we going to do with another baby! We had given most of all of our things away because our 3rd child was then over a year old. I will never forget how the Lord provided for our youngest and our family through people that we didn’t even know that well at the time. In fact, to this day, we don’t have to buy very many clothes for either one of our boys, who are now 8 and 10.

  123. Surprised Mimi says:

    Recently after extremely surprising events, I have been given my two youngest grandsons to raise. My son, their father will be a single parent. This turn of events has opened my eyes to so many things that God has given me that I simply have taken for granted.

    I ask that each of you please remember me and my family in your prayers as I learn to accept new challenges and to try and be the grandparent/co-parent my babies (1 & 2) will need.

    Thank you for so many words of encouragement from you all. It helps knowing that I am not alone.
    Mimi

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