About the Author

Holley Gerth is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, counselor, and life coach. Her newest release is The Powerful Purpose of Introverts: Why the World Needs You to Be You. She's also wife to Mark, Mom to Lovelle, and Nana to Eula and Clem.

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. As the end of my marriage draws near, the beginning of my journey of single motherhood brings me great delight as I keep trusting the great God who gives and take away. I am thankful for my mom and my mother-in-law for the lives they have lived and continue to live. Though imperfect, they’ve shown a great example of the unconditional love and never ending grace a mother has for her child. Happy mother’s day to all the moms and moms-to-be!

  2. My Mom inspires me. At nearly 50, she graduated from college with a degree in business. She has picked up the pieces of a life that fell apart before her very eyes. She’s resilient. She’s graceful. She’s strong.

    Even if I didn’t think so when I was 15 🙂

  3. I don’t know what I would ever do without my mom! She is not only my best friend, but my biggest supporter and encourager! 🙂

  4. Holley,
    Thank you for not asking why I am thankful for ‘my’ mother but instead you said ‘a’ mother. Because I am so very thankful for the women God gave me in my life growing up and now that have filled in those gaps that my own mother could not. My Aunt is who I consider my mom. Even though I do not see her often she has been considered my mom since I was about 15 or so. She is who I would call with problems, she is who I would drive 5 hours to see just to hide out for a few days so I could clear my head and listen to her wisdom. She may not have gone to college and honestly I’m not sure if she graduated high school but her wisdom on life is so much more valuable to me. I’m not able to talk to her like I did before I believe she is in early Alzheimers and so God has placed another women in my life to let me talk to and that leaves me to just love my Aunt because she may not be here much longer.

  5. i can’t believe i can finally say that i am thankful for my mother-in-law, because she produced the most wonderful husband for me – her son. it has been hard to be thankful for her in the past, and i am so pleased to be able to say this today!

  6. Before I was fully awake this morning, my thoughts quickly began to fill with memories of my mom and then memories of our two little daughters growing up, and a memory I hadn’t thought of in a long time was my mom reading A Little Princess to me before I could read, and then when I learned to read, I read it to her. The parade of memories continues to march through my mind in a million scenes…

    Happy Mother’s Day to all!

  7. I am very thankful for my Granny and my Mom. My mom had to work long hours when we were kids, and my Granny taught, loved, and was there for us in amazing ways. She now is struggling with alzheimers and spends her days wandering the house with a huge smile on her face and laughter in her heart! I love her deeply!

  8. I am grateful to the two Mom’s who brought me five beautiful grandchildren into my life, thank you April and Stacy…I love you both!

  9. First, thank you for your post and the reminder of why mothers do what we do. And thank you for this line….”You are making a difference. You are beautiful.” I hope you feel it too.
    I am thankful for my mother Bonnie and her sheer love of learning. Learning to be a mother and teaching me to be a mother.
    With Joy, Carey

  10. Holley, this was such a lovely post. So beautifully written. I have to say, My Mother in law has been a huge factor in how I mother my own children. I find God’s sense of humor in this, because she and I did not start off on the best foot, and now, NOW our relationship is so sweet. His grace in this area of my life has been huge and he has used her so many times through the years to teach me, nourture me, humble me… What a gift.

  11. Thank you for your wonderful post. Makes me feel like Super Woman today!

    My mother-in-law is such an example of Christ’s love. My relationship with my own mom is strained and grueling, so it’s nice to feel grace, unconditional love and encouragement pour from her heart. And, need I say? She raised a GREAT son!!

  12. Thank you for your wonderful post. Makes me feel like Super Woman today!

    My mother-in-law is such an example of Christ’s love. She pours grace, unconditional love and encouragement from the overflow of her heart. And, need I say? She raised a GREAT son!!

  13. Holley,

    I’m sitting in bed listening to the chaos of Pete trying to supervise a “surprise” breakfast for me and I’m just crying at how utterly perfectly beautifully you just summarized motherhood. You have a mother’s heart wide and deep as the ocean my friend and I am honored to know and love you!

    Happy Mother’s Day to YOU!


  14. Today I am filled with thankfullness for my Mother. I have been a motherless daughter for 20 years and her absence doesn’t get any easier. Instead of dwelling on all the things I have missed doing with her, I have focused on the memories of the 38 years I had. Her story is part of mine and I am part of the legacy she left behind. That legacy goes on through my children and now my grandchildren.

  15. On this Mother’s day I am stopping to give praise to a mother I never knew. A mother that defines unselfishness, eternal love, thinking past her desires and thinking only of the child that passes through her and into someone elses arms – my sons Birthmother. Please know today and everyday I pray for you and honor you – my Angel on Earth +

  16. What a beautiful reminder of the loveliness that is in the everyday of motherhood. As walk further in my own journey as a mother, I am more and more grateful for my own mom who was always amazingly patient and loving, who braved embracing a second culture with all of its differences and quirks, and taught us all about loving difference rather than clinging to your own ways… She’s wonderful!!!

  17. Thanks for Your Writing Today Holley.
    I Wanted to Let You Know You were in My Prayers this Morning.
    So if You Felt an Angel on Your Shoulder it May have been Me.
    God’s voice is glorious in the thunder.
    We can’t even imagine the greatness of his power.
    –Job 37:5, NLT

  18. My mom sacrificed as a single mother raising 2 daughters. My mom raised us up in faith, even if we left it for a while. My mom put up with my mood swings as a kid, and now I am dealing with the same thing from my daughter…I would say she is truly a saint for doing so! My mom gave us “country memories”. My mom let me go to Denver and spread my wings. That’s the short list. There are many more reasons why I am thankful she is my mom.

  19. Dear Holley,
    Thank you for sharing your heart…. for encouraging moms, just like a mom…
    This week has been a tough one and the day I am trusting to the LORD…
    So grateful that you let the LORD shine thru you… you have blessed my life!
    Thanking the LORD for you!!!

  20. What a beautiful article, I so enjoyed reading it and I am going to share it with my friends. Today is bittersweet for me, my Mom has Alzheimer’s and although (thank God) she remembers me, her mind seems to be fading fast, much faster than I can accept or deal with, but with the help of the Lord, I am trying. I am so blessed to still have her in my life, she is a sweet, wonderful, compassionate, God fearing woman and has given me much wisdom. I love her so and hope to have Grace to face the challenges I know are coming. Have a Blessed Mother’s Day!

  21. My Mom and I have struggled in our relationship for most of my life and I am 50 years old. I have asked God to repair and help us to have a meaningful relationship. Only God could heal the wounds of my heart of never being good enough, feel loved enough, being harshly judged and treated like I wasn’t lovaable. I had a Great Aunt that thankfully God put in my life to nurture me, help me to build self-worth, to love me unconditionally. She died over 25 years ago now. I am a mother of two adult girls and I wasn’t a perfect Mom but I love and accept them unconditionally. Its ironic but my Mom learned through me how to be a better Mom. She told me a few years ago I wish I had been a better Mom. I have watched you raise my two grand-daughters and what a wonderful job you have done. She aplogized for not being that kind of mom to me. So the healing began. God answered my prayer and performed a miracle. My Mom is such a support to me, encourager and loves me in a way I thought she never would. . I felt bad that she felt so inadequate as a Mom. As Mom I know that feeling of inadequaties. To finish up I have a beautiful grandson, whose Mother has chosen not to raise him. His Dad is raising him and I care for him during the long days his Dad is working. My husband and I just are so blessed to have him in our lives. It broke our hearts when our daughter decided to move to another city and not be with her son. Our other daughter hasn’t been able to have children and she is almost 30 and feeling very sad about it. I just want to close this up by saying a Mother isn’t always some one that gave birth to you. A mother is someone who loves , nurtures, cares and is always got helping hands. Its like my grandson who is 5 said to my friend a motha go. She is my Grandma but she is more like a Mom to me. The tears slid down my cheeks with thankfulness that God gave me to this precious boy when his own Mom has choosen a different path to be on at this time in her life. God Bless all Mother’s and I’m including the ones that don’t have children because you are Mother’s too. Blessings Emme

  22. My mom and I have had more than our share of differences through the years, but I’m glad that I can still be thankful for her. God’s grace extended to me enables me to pass on that blessing of grace to her. She’s generous, talented and feisty, even at 80+. Happy Mother’s Day to all–like Holley said so beautifully–whether you’re a mother of the body or the heart, God has given all of us that desire to nurture and pour into the next generation. And the moms who have given birth need those who haven’t to stand alongside and love them and their children.

  23. Beautiful Mother-heart spilling out on this page; Beautiful post, Holley. You are such a blessing, my friend.

  24. With three in heaven two here on earth and two grandlovies I am a mama whose journey has held a lot. It is my one calling that I know god has knitted deep into me. I love them so. Thank you Holly for the affirmation. God has been good to this mommy of five. Bless you


  25. My mom, though she has left this earth and is now at peace with love of our Heavenly Father, I miss her so. She loved me. I smell the french fries cooking on the stove, the buns just coming out of the oven, the wonderful soups simmering on the stove, great tomato sandwiches on homemade bread….and knew she loved me. Yes, we had our differences, during my rebellious teens and over the years, but one thing I knew for certain – she loved me and she loved her Saviour. Her favorite hymn was ‘Just a Closer Walk with Thee’ and she would sing it whenever she would walk, whether outside or in later years, around the house. I now have two daughters who are mothers – and what wonderful mothers they are…..I am truly blessed.

  26. I am humbled so to be called ‘mother’, ‘mama’, ‘mommy’ and event that sounds too old ‘mom’ by my oldest, only 3.

    It is precious all you describe and agree with Lisa-Jo and anyone else who has said it–YOUR mother heart is AMAZING Holly…utterly AMAZING! Happy Mother’s Day to YOU!!

    And to all you other beautiful mama’s who might stumble here…trusting you have a heart to receive the love all messy and slobbery and maybe a little hard, but real, that’s coming to you today…YOU ARE LOVED!!!

    • *even*, and *HOLLEY*, enter ‘mommy brain’…when you say goodbye to perfection necessarily, then you can ‘laugh at the days to come’ like Mrs. Proverbs 31!

  27. This is a beautiful post.
    I am a mother of a son who is 36 and a daughter who is 33 and they each have three children our son had boys and our daughter had daughters. Each so unique and so awesome, 4 out of six of them were preemies, we learned deep prayer sitting beside a neonatal incubator watching the ‘small’ life of our grandchild. A heart swells and grows with each one added to our family. I am grandma, a legacy I pass on with great respect and a bit of fear. That they will hear my words and watch my life as a lesson and message to Love the Lord with all their hearts and lean not on their own understanding. I am a daughter, a mother and now a grandmother. Each role has changed me. I just hope I keep learning the lesson,

  28. Thank you for this special note, and Happy day to you too!!!
    Your heart is gold, your one and unique special and wonderful mothers heart 🙂
    I am telling you Holley too much poop is no fun at all !!! Hugs in the distance.

  29. Good morning Holley and all mothers around the world! Happy Mother’s Day. May God bless you all every day. I am a mother of two beautiful children and it is and has been a wonderful travel. I am still learning, but I treasure every day,every moment. It is a learning experience being a mother. It is wonderful and fulfilling to me. My children have taken care of my heart for a very long time, while I watch them grow into great individuals of tomorrow. God blessed me with them, and I am sure he wanted to offer me these children as a gift. I say, thank you God..I will try to do my best. To my own mother, although far away, I can only say,”Thank you, I love you.” To all mothers, and I mean all moms, I say…”God bless you.”

  30. I just finished breakfast in bed, courtesy of my daughter. She is pregnant–too young and not ready. A few days ago she told me that she knew she would be a good mom because I am a good mom and she learned from me. No higher compliment….

  31. My mom is amazing! She lives right down the road and often invites us over for meals. My parents were always very encouraging and I appreciate all the prayers my mom sent up for me.

  32. A tribute to our children’s children who are now mommies of the youngest generation.
    What a joy to know the Holy Spirit is leading them. We’re praying while you’re raising!

  33. My mother-in-law was a wonderful Christian and I loved and admired her courage for being a Christian in China some 50 years ago in those difficult days.

  34. The Alzheimers has silenced the memories and laughter we once shared, but God’s grace abides as I gently stroke your gnarled fingers…listening to our hearts beating together…reminding me of the love your heart shared with me fifty-six years ago…gently beating, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, cradled in the womb.

  35. Today I celebrate all Mothers, but in particular, I celebrate my mom. Although she is no longer here on this earth, I know that she is in her Father’s Kingdom. You see my mother was a simple woman who feared the Lord and no matter how bad things got at home, either through her health or family life (dad mostly)… she always knew where to draw her strength from. She was a seamstress back in her day and each year she would make each of her kids when we were young a coat. There were five children and each of us just before Mother’s Day, would get a hand-made coat. I now know what that coat making meant for her. It symbolized the love that she had for each of her children, threw sweat and tears as she would carefully stitch each coat. I know that each stitch carried a prayer from her and that was what my mother would do. We grew up but she never stopped praying for her children. My prayers to all mothers out there today. Continue to be great mothers to your children and show them what it is to love unconditionally, just as Christ does for you. Holley, I know you are yearning to be a mother and I wanted to let you know that you are a mother to so many of those who may never have had the privilege of knowing their mother. May the Lord bless you always and know that you are greatly loved.

  36. I am so grateful for my mom and mom-in-law! We are so blessed to have their love!

  37. i love your heart and the way you form it into words. i saw so many of my friends and our conversations in each of your worded heart moments. it was perfection, friend.

  38. I went back and re-read all the different posts you have written about Mother’s Day recently like at Held and Homeschooling Mama as well as the downloadable, “When Mother’s Day is Difficult.” I just want you to know that when….yes, WHEN not IF….I meet you I plan to hug you for a long, long time…and maybe cry a little….or A LOT….because you just get it. And I ache for you, as I do for myself, and other women who have had to walk the road of infertility. But for you, I ache, because I know that your words of wisdom that you so gently and graciously share with us, came at a great cost in your heart. So I am thankful to you for “going there” so that you could continue to give us….ME….hope! I pray that one day, I, too, will be able to offer such encouragement and grace to others from my own sorrows. Beauty from ashes….

    With love today to you….in how YOU have mothered ME…with your heart!

  39. I thank God for the gift of my mum who passed on May last year after spending 76 years on earth nurturing my siblings, almost the whole community I lived in as a child (she was a 1st grade teacher and a child in every family in my community passed thru her class). On a day such as this, I reflect on all she inculcated in my siblings and I – strength of character, courage, truthfulness, honesty, loyalty and love for God/humanity. I know God used her to shape my life and make me the woman I am today. I miss her so so much but know that she fulfilled God’s dream for her life. The Bible says “Train up a child in the way he should go; when he grows up, he will not depart”. That is my story.

  40. I thank God for my two grandmothers who stepped in to support their family when my own mother became terminally ill (and I was still a toddler)….For the one who’s still living for still caring more than enough…For the warm memories of the one now living with our Heavenly Father..and especially for my own mom, who despite her physical and mental limitations, gave all she could.

  41. Yes… this truly is one of the most beautiful blog posts I haver ever read…and I’ve encountered so much beauty in the blogosphere. Thank you for you’re heart. I love you, girl!!

  42. Holley,
    Thank You for such a touching post. I’m so thankful that I had two super women help to shape me into who I am today. My Mother and my Grandmom. Grandmom passed away almost 13 years ago but it seems like yesterday. When she left to be with the Lord a Huge piece of my Moms spirit also passed away. Things have not been the same. I miss my Grandmother very much and I miss the way my Mom used to be prior to Grandmoms death. Mom and I are a work in progress!
    Happy Mother’s Day!

  43. i am a single mom again…sigh…since my husband left to be with our Creator five months ago, i have taken the reign of being the figurehead in the family once more, tho not really by choice. it has been tough, but i just remember to remind myself every morning upon waking up to “let go and let God” take the control of the wheel of life, then i can be on auto-cruise.

  44. Mom, this wish is to you today! Happy Mother’s Day to the woman who taught me SO much. I have a head full of wisdom and silliness, tears and smiles that you brought to my life. You showed me how to live, and then in perfect submission to the Lord you showed me how to die with grace. I love you and miss you Mom.

  45. Thank you for your sweet words! I am blessed with a wonderful mom and equally wonderful mother in law and am more blessed than I deserve to be a mom to two little ones.

  46. Dear Holley

    Such beautiful words from such a painful heart, Thank You! I want to Thank my beautiful daughter-in-law for being such a good mother to my two granddaughters, two lights of my life.

  47. Thanking God for my precious mom that is in heaven on this Mother’s Day!
    Wow, she was a Godly woman, pastor’s wife, mom to 6 sons and myself,
    someone so giving and helping others, sent cards to many, sang beautifully,
    and showered me with lots and lots of love. How I thank God for her!

  48. Dearest Holley; On this special day, I want to wish you a Happy Mothers Day. You are TRULY a mother of many. The many you have encouraged and loved, as only a mother would. You have a mothers heart and a mothers love for many. I know God answers prayer in His timing. I have prayed and claimed and thanked the Father that one day God will grant you the deep desires of your heart. Our good friends had their 2nd. baby after having tried for 14 yrs. , they now have 2 beautiful daughters, that did not come easy, but now they are hear. God has given you the desires that He wants you to have, so He may one day fulfill them all. Bless you dear heart, truly the mother of many. You, who have neutered and encouraged , and loved thousands. Our love goes out to you, on this Mothers Day.

  49. I love that last part most – ‘no way to be a perfect mother but millions of ways to be a good one.’ That’s what I want to find – the myriads of ways my kids need me to be ‘good!’

  50. Thank you so much ,love how you give us a postive devtion every day thank you so much ,If I won I would love to read these to my Daughter ,realy enjoyed the mothers day one,thank you again and have a wondrfull and blessed week:).

  51. I am now a very proud Nan, to my three wonderful Grandchildren, but enough about me, I was raised by a wonderful woman her name was Lena, I was a physical wreck, at the age of 4 years, when she let me into her heart, she nurtured me taught me right from wrong, watched over me when she thought i would die after an accident, it is over 20 year since she passed away but she will always be in my heart,
    I was also lucky enough to get in touch with my Birth Mother Amelia before she went, so I have been doubly blessed.
    I do so love your messages each day God Bless you Sheila oxoxoxo

  52. I’m thankful for my mother, of course. But this year I’m especially thankful for my girlfriend’s mother. My friend’s husband died unexpectedly at Christmas this year. He left behind his wife of 10 years and their 3 and 5 year old children. I have watched my friend’s mother step in and do all of the things that need to be done for the past 4 months. From caring for the boys to caring for her daughter. From cooking to cleaning to laughing to crying. I am in awe of the mother that she is and hope that I will grow up to be just like her.

  53. Wow, you are WAY more gracious than I ever could have been, Holley, when we struggled with infertility and my lack of being ‘a mom.’ As Lindsey said, I know the words you shared came at great cost to your heart. It seems like the Lord has given you HIS eternal perspective on motherhood which allows you to be more vulnerable and in the process, touch many hearts!

    In years past, on Mother’s Day I would deliver a flower to a friend (different ones over the years) experiencing infertility, who desperately wanted to be a mom. This year I woke up and realized that at this point in time, I don’t have anyone like that in my life. As I read your post, I wished you were near enough that I could bring YOU a rose! I’ll see if I can send you one on Facebook! God bless!!

  54. Thank you for your very special post today, Holly. Prayers of thanksgiving for the gift you are to all of us. And thankful for all those who look to me as a substiute mother through the years. I was blessed with a wonderful mother, now in heaven 38 years, and two exceptional daughters whom I don’t get to see often enough but who are wonderful mothers themselves to our five grandchildren……but in the lonely hours, God has given me women who need an encourager and to know someone truly does care……and I am so thankful to be that person for them. It is almost like having dozens of kids………we all need to be needed, and when my own don’t, these ladies are there to “need” me, and what a blessing that is! Bless you as you continue to encourage each of us……….

  55. Today I am so thankful for my two adult daughters who are both mothers of two children. Each of our daughters have a son and a daughter. These two wonderful daughters are fantastic and exceptional mothers and we are so proud of them.
    On the other hand my mother will be 84 in a couple weeks – a truly amazing woman.
    Praise God for Mothers. I love being a Mom and I truly feel blessed at being a Grandma of my four grandchildren.

  56. My mother went home to Heaven when she was only 48 years old. I am now 20 years older than she was. However, I was mothered for 25 years by a truly godly, awesome lady with a keen sense of humor, wonderful book reading voice, hard working, living life to the fullest (not always the easiest life), enduring with joy living in a culture foreign to most American mothers. Even after all these years, I miss her. Her hands were a special memory. Mother lost 3 fingers on her left hand because of a childhood accident. Totally unconscious of the lack of those three didgets, she typed faster that most with her 7 good fingers, comforted and wiped my tears, and prepared wonderful meals and also used those dear hands to apply the “board of education to the seat of knowledge” when needed. The most precious memory I have is the day, when as a little girl with a sense of my own need of a Savior, my godly mother explained John 3:16 and Isa. 53:6 to me and I knew salvation through Jesus Christ. I rejoice that I KNOW I will see that now perfect mom in Heaven, one of these days.

  57. Hi Holly,
    I love your writing and how you share from the heart. I wanted to share with you a favorite quote from my mother that she keeps framed on her night-stand next to her prayer book. Happy Mother’s Day to you (if not from the body, from the heart!) Blessings to you!

    One hundred years from now,
    It won’t matter what car I drove,
    What kind of house I lived in,
    How much I had in my bank account,
    Nor what my clothes looked like,
    But, the world may be a little better
    Because I was important in the life of a child.

  58. My stepmother stepped into my life when a young toddler needed a mother. She has been a beautiful woman and wonderful mother to me when my real mother could not. She has been my mother for 42 of my 43 years. And now, as I have 4 children of my own, from 13 years to 19 months, I try to bring the patience and love to my mothering that my stepmother gave to me. I am thankful to my stepmother who became my mom. Thank you, Mom!

  59. My own mom was the most awesome mom! She raised me on her own, making sure I was well grounded in my faith, and never waivering in hers, no matter how hard things got. She sacrificed to send me to boarding school to be sure I would be safe while she worked, but mainly she wanted to ensure I would get a good strong Christian education. Our weekends and holidays were always filled with so much love and laughter. She had a quiet grace about her, and I loved listening to her stories, and her advice(not that I always took it, but should have :)! ) We sang together and played games and prayed and it mattered not a bit that there was a 40 yr difference in our ages, we just had the grandest time together and she was my biggest supporter and cheerleader. She always gave to many charities, even when she didn’t have it to give. She never learned to drive, but would take the bus or walk to church in just about any weather. She was always ready to help anyone in need and never looked for anything for herself or complained. What a beautiful example of a Christian mother- for me – and my children- and all who knew her! We miss you Mom/Granny/Aunt Al, but what a legacy you have left for generations to come!!!

  60. I’m thankful for my mom–she cheerfully raised my brothers and I and sacrificed to send us to a Christian school. I know that my knowledge of the Word and the scripture in my head is due to her and my dad’s sacrifice and priorities.

  61. Hello Holley——I would appreciate prayers, as I have just had a total hip replacement, on May 2. Was home for Mother’s day with my husband and 4 children. They have all been wonderful about helping me with everything. My hip problem is a genetic condition and this is the thirs surgery on the same hip. Boy, am I Hip! Staples removed on Thursday!
    Thnaks, Robin

  62. Holley,
    I am thankful for my Mother – she has been my strength in the loss of my identical twin sister – yet, she lost her daughter. My Mother has been through more loss and heartbreak but yet she picks me up when I am down. She is the best Mother and my best friend. I am most grateful for her and all the life lessons she taught me – and the courage she displays each day!
    God Bless you,

  63. How lovely is this post! Any mother/nurturer who reads it will smile as well as feel tugs of regret . Perhaps the most important thing you said is that mothering is not about perfection. The same is true for life though it’s sometimes hard to remember that. Thanks for sharing your beautiful tribute.

  64. This was a beautiful post! I plan to print it and give it to our daughter, who is expecting our first grandchild. As new parents, it is important to know that as hard as you try to be perfect parents, its more important to be good parents and let God perfect His creation, as his/her parents raise their child in the ways of our Lord. This was truly a heartwarming reminder of God’s blessing on those of us who have the privilege of being nurturers and mothers. Thank you.

  65. Such a lovely post! I’m so blessed to be a mother, and I thank God every single day for the responsibility he bestowed upon me.

    My relationship with my own mother, unfortunatly is often volitile. She abuses drugs and other substances, but still I thank God for her because I know she was placed as my mom for a reason, and through her I’ve learned a lot about compassion and heartache and how to raise my own children, all the while maintaining a constant chain of prayer with God. Sometimes it takes a storm to see something beautiful.

  66. Dear Holley,

    I am so grateful for my daughter and her husband Attila. They are expecting our first grandson, Akos. They are already amazing parents … they live in Budapest , Hungary (they met in the mission fields of the Ukraine) … Kristin has juvenile diabetes and has kept her numbers to non-diabetic numbers … I get updates via skype and email about there “Nesting” activities and it tickels me! Even if they were not expecting our grandson … I have so many reasons to be proud of this very special couple. God’s peace to you and all who read this. “Grama” to be.

  67. Holley, my dear friend, I so appreciated this lovely and gracious post, written as only you can from that wonderful heart of yours. I am grateful for my dear mom–always my greatest fan and source of support–but today I’d like to especially honor my beautiful and gifted daughter-in-love, Shawna. She is God’s perfect choice for my middle son, Travis, and the “bestest” mommy of their 9-month-old, Michelle, my first grandchild. Daddy is in Afghanistan until September, and Shawna is handling the separation with her typical grace and serenity (not that it’s easy!). I adore Shawna and thank God for her and the sweet friendship we share.

  68. And to you, a mother of the heart if not the body, I would cup your face in my hands and say: “You are good. You are making a difference. You are beautiful.”

  69. I’m grateful for my mom and my mother in law. I’ve learned so much from them both and am blessed to still have them in my everyday life. 🙂

  70. I’m thankful for my grandmother who picked up all the grandchildren from school for two decades (!), kept us over the summer while our parents were working, and shuttled us all over town to our various music lessons and doctor’s appointments. You’re the best, Popo!

  71. I’ve always thought Mother’s Day was for MY mother, not for ME . Even though she’s been gone almost ten years, I still think more of her than I do of myself on Mother’s Day. I roll through many of the precious memories I treasure of my mother.

    My earliest memory is of the day we moved into the house in which I grew up. The former owners had not finished their move-out, and Mother–along with her 19-month-old and 3 -year-old daughters–spent most of the day on the front porch out of the way. Mom served us sandwiches for lunch, quite treat, as we rarely had sandwiches. We would spend many pleasureable hours on the porch over the next 17 years–shelling peas, visiting with neighbors, or just sitting in the porch swing.

    My mind plays through the many other memories of Mother to the last one. Mom was 84-years-old and in the throes of dementia. Three weeks before she went to Heaven, I visited her for five days. I sang to her, read the Bible, talked about the past, and listened to her rapidly fading memories for those five days.

    If I left the room to get something from another part of the house, Mother forgot I was there. But she could quote scriptures she had memorized from the age of nine. I was inthralled at her ability to quote for ten or fifteen minutes without missing a single word! She asked me, “Why is it that I can’t remember things from a few minutes ago but I remember the scriptures I memorized as a small girl?” I’m sure the Holy Spirit put the answer into my mind, as I replied, “Mom, it’s because you hid the Word in your HEART and not in your HEAD.” Five minutes later, she asked, “Why is it that I can’t remember things from a few minutes ago, but I can still quote scriptures I memorized as a small girl?”

  72. Happy Mother’s Day to each and everyone of you. Being a fulltime wife, mother, and homemaker is the most important job on planet earth. I applaud each of you for your love, sacrifices, commitment, and just plain hard working in raising a family. I bless those who have not been able to be at home and had to work. I bless those who have not been able to have children of their own; but continue to love and nurture so many other children. We may not know this side of heaven all of the lives we have touched in some very special ways. I am a better woman because of the many godly women who have loved, touched, and mentored me. God bless and enrich of you.

  73. My mother has emotional and physical strength that knows no bounds. She performs wedding ceremonies and Fridays, gives sermons on Sundays and can council Monday through Wednesday. But the thing that gets me is that when Thursday rolls around she can unleash the rock and roll and play guitar. She is a constant reminder to try it all.

  74. “I love how even women without children {I’m one} somehow feel the need to nurture, to grow, to pour themselves into the next generation like so much water that just never stops. Mothers of the heart if not the body”

    Spoke volumes to me today. I avoided church today because I did not want to be reminded that it was Mother’s Day and I was not a mom only a teacher. I almost did not even come over to In Courage to read today because I knew Mother’s Day would be mentioned.

    I have many women who have spoken into my life and helped me grow, spiritually and emotionally. I am so thankful God placed these women into my life, including many of the women who write here on In Courage, including you dear sweet Holley. Your writing has spoken to my heart so many times. God has used you to mend a bit of the grief today. Thank you!

  75. I so thankful for my mom Lisa. She has been my motivator and my strength in days I didn’t think I would make it through. I see a woman who never stops loving and who gives of herself unselfishly. She’s one of a kind. all mine. I’d like to think that God planned her just for me and He did.

  76. I too am in awe of mothers. My mother died four years ago and with many issues between us left unresolved. I was never able to do anything right in her opinion which she expressed frequently. Happily, my mother’s youngest sister only 9 years older than me has been mother, aunt and friend to me and I celebrate her today.

  77. I am very thankful for my Mom. She’ll be 78 this year and is still a going concern, giving her time and love to everyone she meets. She is tireless in her service to others and has been a wonderful example for me. And you are so right – my Gramma eyes light up when I see any one of my six grandchildren 🙂

  78. I am blessed to have many Mothers in my life – friends of all ages – who push be toward being a better mom, every day. I have Mops moms, and Bible study moms, and blog moms who are all trying to do this motherhood thing with integrity and strength. Thanks for the chance to win a fun keepsake book.

  79. What a lovely and timely post to remind us mothers that the work we do everyday is not in vain. I am thankful for my own mom, who sacrificed so much to stay home to raise us and gives so much even today for her (grown) kids and grandkids.

  80. Thank-you for this wonderful message. My mom inspires me by the way she works hard everyday to bless her family in small and big ways. Motherhood is a joy!!

  81. Holley,
    Your words of encouragement to each mom were just what each of us longs to hear. Your are definitely a mother of the heart to so many <3 Thank you for the ways you nurture and encourage each of us, young and old{er}. lol I thank God so much for my mom, she is such an example to me of mothering with love and grace.

  82. I just wanted to say how much your post touched my heart today (the day after Mother’s Day). I have three beautiful wonderful children and sometimes I feel like I don’t make a difference or that I mess up too much. I lose my patience with them. I may raise my voice form time to time. I have even forgot to pack milk money. I am not perfect but I think I should be when it comes to raising my children. Why are the words from a woman whom I have never met so powerful and so heart touching to me? It must be because you are speaking words God wants me to hear. Thank you for listening to Him. Thank you for your heart and obedience. Being a mom is tough work each and every day. But when I go to bed at night all I can think about is how much I love them and how much God has blessed me with them.

  83. Dear Holley,
    Thanks for this post. My mum is 86 now and dad and she had a marriage of over 59 years until he passed on 5 years ago. She raised me and my 6 siblings us with so much love and care and took the time to build memories for us, for which I will always be grateful. I recall, bedtime stories, songs, prayers, picnics and family games.
    Inspite of havign breast cancer last year followed by the insertion of a pace maker she is not deterred but faces life so positivley and with a laugh and a smile.
    She continues to counsel couples and works as a free lance journalist.
    She is truly amazing and I thank God for her!

  84. Now that I am a mom I can see better what my mother has gone through and I am so thankful for all that she taught me so I can pass that down to my daughter. Mom sacrifice so much for their families in hope that they end up to be great people. My mom did so much on a very small budget and I have learned from that to also be frugal and to appreciate all that you have a little more. Thanks Mom!!

  85. Holley,
    I am so thankful for my mother and for her wisdom and guidance in my life. “Momma” as I call her, will be 86 years young tomorrow. She is still very active in bible study, church, and taking care of the old farm, where all five of us children grew up. She still mows grass, weeds, trims bushes, plants flowers, and does her own housecleaning. She is truly a force to be reckoned with! She drives all over the place. But, most importantly she is a “praying Momma”. She has a long long list of prayer concerns that she prays for every morning as she walks on her treadmill, and throughout the day as God leads her. She raised me to be a praying woman who can trust the Lord in ALL things. She leads by example. She is my prayer partner, my friend, and one of the kindest persons I know. She never has an angry word for anyone and always utters encouragement. I am truly blessed to have this Woman of God as my mother, and I thank God for giving her to me!

  86. I want to remember one of the strongest women I know-my mother for surviving the bombing of Hiroshima where she grew up. Again, she is being brave to tell me her story so I can write and present it to middle schoolers. My mother knows that these middle schoolers will some day be voters and/or leaders and perhaps one will make a difference and be sure that this type of weapon will not be released on any country for any reason.

  87. I enjoy your messages to my e-mail each day and send them on to others in my office. They are always timely and a wonderful start to the day.

    My mom is 85 and back to living by herself after several falls last year. She has lost some of her memory, but still has a good sense of humor, and likes to tease my hubby.
    I cherish my memories of growing up in a Christian home where where was a lot of singing and laughter.

    Until I became a step-mother several years ago, I was one of those “wanna be” moms and Mother’s Day was a hard one for me. The first year I was a stepmom on Mother’s Day, my stepson called me and wished me Happy Stepmother’s Day! I was ecstatic! Now my stepdaughter is 19 and pregnant. Though not married, she is excited about the baby, and I can’t believe my girl (who was 6 when I met her) is going to be a mommy! Pray for her to return to God, and pray for me to be that someone she can turn to for some of the nourishment she needs and her baby will need.

    Thanks so much for making my day brighter!

  88. I always enjoy your encouraging posts! I’m so thankful for my mom, as she has been a wonderful example to me throughout the years.

  89. I am thankful for my own mom who encourages me to *savor* and not to make much ‘a do about nothing. Though my role as a mom is to be concerned and attentive, sometimes giving freedom to my son to be a child is one of the greatest gifts – to him, and to me. I’m so glad my mom reminds me of this from her perspective as “Mimi”!

  90. I was blessed by a wonderful mother, grandmother AND mother-in-law. But I will never be able to share in mothering a child myself. Holley, as a nurturing person myself, I truly understand what you are going through. Thank you for “mothering” us each day! “Mothers of the heart, if not the body.” SO beautiful.

  91. My mother is a woman of strength and beauty. I have learned so much from her and continue to do so each day. She encourages me daily and has been a great example of Christ and his love for me. I don’t know what I’d do without her. I am so thankful to have her as my Mom!!!

  92. Where do I even begin…..? My mama is a retired Evangelists wife , who traveled every five weeks across the country, faithfully following my daddy to town after town,supporting him, encouraging him, being his helpmate. She raised her brood of chicks on the road,homeschooling us before it was the popular thing to do , because she was determined to keep us all a part of my dad’s ministry, teaching us to sing with her each nite at the meetings,and blossom into who God made us to be.
    She is my example of creating a home out of nothing . Turning an ugly place where we dreaded moving into during our short stay ,into a place of beauty, by using cardboard boxes covered with fabric remnants for end tables, etc…. with her special little touches , every place was transformed into HOME . Now I realize it wasn’t the ways she prettied things up that made it home , but because she and daddy were there, and we always had so much love .
    She is 80 yrs. old now , with parkinsons , and tons of other ailments, yet she still never complains, just smiles at me and still speaks encouragement and love to us all.

  93. I’m absolutely, without a doubt, 100% plus some thankful for my mother! I feel like I’ve always respected her as a mother but when I became a mother myself it was like all that other respect was “baby respect” because it took on a whole new meaning. I love her.

  94. I’m in awe of all that mothers do and of my own amazing mother who gave up much for her children when she was in the season of heavy mothering duties. I can think of so many I know who do the same. It’s awsome!

  95. The special mom in my life was my grandmother whom I called “nanny”. She was one extraordinary woman and a devoted follower of Christ. She was a farmers wife for many years and a great example of a Proverbs 31 woman. She had only 1 child-my mother. My siblings and I spent a lot of time with her as we were fortunate enough to live close by. She never had a cross word for any of us and provided a safe haven when other things in our lives were chaotic. She never seemed to tire of our childish games and encouraged our games of mud pies, dress up and tree climbing. Her home and yard were full of our laughter and her love. She encouraged me to attend a Bible college even though no one in our family had ever been to college. It was there I met my future husband whom I have been married to for 38 years. We have 3 children and 10 beautiful grandchildren. My goal in life is to first follow Christ, and secondly to be as good of a grandma as my Nanny was. I thank God always that He allowed her to be my grandma…I can’t wait to see her again in heaven and introduce her to her great-great grandchildren.

  96. My mom loves us unconditionally, has a never-ending reserve of energy, and shows us everyday that we are special to her. Mothers shape who we are and are a true earthly example of Christ’s unselfishness!

  97. Motherhood has been an awesome adventure for me. Two dear mothers whom I am so thankful for are my daughter and my daughter-in-law. It’s a different generation now cradling, teaching, nurturing, encouraging and it’s so beautiful to watch. These young women give 150% of themselves as they strive to be the best mothers they can for their little ones. I thank God for them and pray He will encourage and strengthen them each and every day.

  98. This Mother’s Day I am struck by the multitude of precious mothers that I know online who inspire me and motivate me and BLESS me! I thank God for the community of godly moms who I am privileged to call friends. I am a better mom because of you.

  99. My Mother was truly a blessing to all 7 of us. One brother, Bubba, was an invalid all of his life and my Mother took us to church and sent us when my brother got too big to carry to church for the seating was theatre seats and no way my Mother could hold him any longer in those seats. She always had a christian song on her lips and taught us by God’s grace that could be either one of us laying there unable to help oneself. She was the anchor of our family while my Father was a long distance truck driver gone for weeks sometimes. She taught us truly what was important in life – God first and family second. She was stearn but so gentle to each of us and I miss her so for she went home in 2002 – she patterned my life with instruction of what a Mother is truly meant to be to her children. Thank you Mother

  100. I love how you get right down to it in such an uplifting way. Thank you Holley.

  101. A tribute to my Mother: At 76 suffering from osteoporosis and rheumatism she always has a smile and a cup of tea ready for me every morning! Is always there with a great meal and willing to hear about my day! Whenever my back aches I remember her!

  102. I’m so thankful for my loving, caring, and patient mama. I don’t know where I’d be without her!

  103. I am so grateful for the many moms in my life this Mother’s Day. But one mom that I’m thinking about this day is my good friend who is due with her first babe today. I’m blessed enormously by her friendship, love, and care for me even when we’re far apart. She is going to be a wonderful mama and I am so excited to share this journey with her. She is beautiful and lovely, and that little girl, who is to arrive any day now, will get to know and experience life with one of the most amazing women I know.

  104. How did it happen that somehow I find myself to be the Mom in charge? It was always supposed to be MY mother who had that position! And she held it well. A friend of hers wrote an acrostic about her. I’d like to share it:

    Rachael remembered
    Among friends. Loved and
    Cherished for a positive philosophy of Life
    Her humerous enjoyment of games
    And Bridge! Like a mother to
    Everyone in need of

    If she were alive today, she’d be 102. But now she’s forever young and probably teaching many how to play Bridge. Miss you, Mom.

  105. Thank you thank you for this post… I have had an extremely hard week with my two yr old son being defiant and curious. He is so start and loving and a challenge to me. I woke early this morning to drink my coffee in peace and catch up on this blog…. you were definitely exactly what I needed to hear! I would love to win a copy! But if not God bless you for this message!!!!

  106. My dearest Holley,

    I’m so thankful for the gift of you (A MOTHER OF THE HEART). So many times you have encouraged me, prayed for me, lifted me up in prayer, & blessed me with your words. Without me even knowing you (not personally), or seeing you (not physically), or not talking to you (not face to face), BUT from the heart you have blessed me. Thank you for being a MOTHER OF THE HEART.

  107. My Dearest Holley,

    Thank you for the gift of being a MOTHER OF THE HEART. So many times you have held me up with your prayers, & words of encouragement. Without me even knowing you (not physically), without me even seeing you (not face to face), without me even talking to you (not one on one) BUT, we are connected from the heart, AND you have blessed so many & made a difference in our lives. I’ve grown & I’m thankful for a MOTHER OF THE HEART.

    Be Blessed,


  108. Oh, this is so good, Holley! “…tie the shoelaces of the future.” I love that line!

    It’s amazing, how much I didn’t know about mothering before I was one. I had no idea what I was in for. My babies have been some of my biggest teachers and have pushed me to the throne almost more than anything or anyone else ever has.

    These are my thoughts on motherhood…so much I didn’t know and what I know now.

    God bless your motherly heart,


  109. Holly, Thank you so much for the post. Mothers day has always been bad for me. I have not had any children of my own. God blessed me with children all my life to help and nuture.
    You truely blessed me with the line “Mothers of the heart if not the body.”
    My Mom left when I was ten years old and I helped my Dad raise my brother and sister. Then I help to raise two wonderful children by my former husband and I have a beautiful Grandaughter. All my life I have been raising children, even when I was one. now @ 52 years old God gives me a time to reflect and to praise him for his gifts.
    He always knows what is best (even if we don’t feel like it is!!!!) Thank you again!!!

  110. Thank you Holley for your post, it’s beautiful! My mom wasn’t able to connect with me and my siblings to provide the nurturing that children so deeply need. God blessed me with 3 babies… 2 daughters & a son. I so loved being a mommy! My children are grown now and I have 8 grandchildren that I adore! I have had an absence wound inside because of the lack of nurturing from my own mother. I tried so hard to fill it by giving to my children. In the last few years I realized that I was holding too tight to them for many years, expecting the love I needed and it made them pull away from me. It’s been hard to accept this but with God’s grace I have been able to and give them back to the Him. God is blessing this and I am finding the healing for my love needs from Him. I continue to pray for healing for our relationships with one another and the grandchildren.

    I took some flowers to my mom’s grave this year. I felt a lot had been healed. My mom suffered from the same pain I have experienced when she was living. I love her because God chose her to be my mother. God never makes mistakes, He had a plan for me and my family from the beginning and I look with expectation to the future planned for us!

    God bless you, Holley!


  111. Oh, Holley…I’ve been away from you (in real life and in blog life) for too long…as life gets so busy, I find myself reserving your posts for a day when I can leisurely enjoy them…that day never seems to come.

    This is beautiful. love and hugs my sweet friend.

  112. Of all the hats I’ve worn in my life … my Mommy Hat is my favorite and now I have the privilege of having the exclusive Grammie Hat too!!! I am blessed beyond words!

  113. April 13th, 2011, my mother-n-law had a stroke and was in the hospital 2 1/2 wks. On Sun., May 1st she entered eternal life and is with our Lord. She was the sweetest, caring, loving, joyful….best mom ever! An inspiration to all of us. Always had the fruit of the spirit living in her heart and only thinking of others, never herself. This Mother’s day was the hardest for me….. without her hugs embracing me. I will deeply miss this awesome mom-n-law. From the very beginning, (32 yrs. ago) she took me in as a teen just like I was her own daughter and loved me…as I fell in love with her son. Mom’s spirit will be in our hearts forever and will always live thru her family. Thank you Mom and HAPPY MOTHERS DAY….. until we see you again. Love ya Mom! xoxoxo “Happy Mother’s Day”

  114. I am so terribly proud of my oldest daughter as she is a new mother; her first born is just nine months old. She has never loved another as she does her sweet baby boy. I see it in her face; I hear it in her voice. She is growing as much as he is! I am delighted to be a grandmother ~ my first grandchild! And I am honored that she and her husband ask my opinion, seek my guidance and make space in their baby’s life for me! She is a wonderful mother and I am thrilled to have her in my life. I pray for bountiful blessings for her and her new family.

  115. Im thankful for my spiritual mom- who entered my life when I was learning how to juggle two babies under two. Her encouragement and wisdom on a practical level has meant the world to me!

  116. you ARE a mother of hearts, holley~ hundreds and hundreds! and we are blessed and nurtured by you.

    *thank you*

    and just a little p.s. i’ve added your name to my list of friends praying for babies. a list i was once on myself and now we have our little miracle named, reese~ but i understand the waiting.

  117. Thank you,Thank you, thank you! I so needed to hear this today. I nearly had tears of thankfulness as I read, and seemed to feel your hands cupped on my face. really needed the encouragement!

  118. I love when you said we are: “mothers of the heart if not by body.” I wrote that down to remind myself. You certainly have a gift with words. Always encouraging. Thanks!!

  119. “I don’t know where you are this morning but I wish I could cup your face in my hands and whisper this, “You are a good mother. You are making a difference. You are beautiful.” Holley, thank you so much!

    I needed this today, as my 15 year old didn’t wish me a happy mother’s day yesterday. She, my husband and I went to see “October Baby.” She didn’t seem very happy about it, but she did go with us. 🙂 As I read the above statements, tears came to my eyes. My older daughter called, and that was such a blessing. My younger daughter and I have been struggling for sometime. God is strengthening me in my inner man to move forward in Him, mothering the best way I know how. He will see us through. Praise Him!

    God bless you richly!

  120. My most precious mother, whom I have called the pillar of our family, passed away in January of 2009. I truly miss her and my father – very much so of late. She was a stay-at-home mom for the most part, raising their five children – all with different personalities with which to deal. 🙂 She was always there when I wanted or needed to talk. I remember going downstairs to her bedroom for some very good conversations. The most important of those conversations was telling her that I found out how a loving God could send someone to hell. He doesn’t; it is our choice. I don’t know that she ever accepted Christ as her Savior, but as she lay dying, I had the privilege of whispering in her ear that she could still call on the name of Jesus – He was waiting with open arms.

    A second precious “mom” is a woman I call my “spiritual mom.” She opened her heart and home to me. She picked me up from my house one day, took me to her house for lunch, and led me to a saving knowledge of the Lord, Jesus Christ! ! I was fourteen years of age. The atmosphere in her home was so different from my home. I just liked lying on the rug and listening to the inspirational music she played. She and her husband are still very, very precious to me. Praise God for allowing our paths to cross!

  121. Another precious mom is my mother-in-law. She prays for us daily. Though she lives pretty far away, it is nice to be able to talk with her on the phone. She is the mother of 9 kids and grandmother of 19 and a great-grandmother, too. She is such a blessing! She is very cheerful. She will be 82 this July. Praise God for my wonderful mother-in-law!