In all my efforts to gather them into myself, to fold them back up for keeps like a love letter in my heart, every day is a pulling away. I have 4 boys, each turning man by the spoonful of oatmeal. I nestle one completely in my arms, he pulls back and seeps the milky smile, looks around the room for his brothers.
I know that already at 8 months he aims to follow them all the way out my door. Right now they swing in the trees, high enough to give mothers heart attacks. Yesterday they ran on rusty tin and said bad words on purpose. I came undone. I lose my grip, take to heart all the verses on the Fear of the LORD. It’s the only thing that seems to crumple my fears like old grocery lists.
I have these Mother Letters, a stack of letters written by mothers who are walking along side me and who have walked this journey before me. I got them from my husband, who collected them as a way to make Christmas instead of buy it.
On Christmas morning, after dabbling a bit in the blog world, he presented me with a document over 600 pages long, letters from all over the world. Every page began with “Dear Mother,” and so began a journey to see my grand and humble position through the eyes of a great cloud of witnesses, women who are in this with me.
No mother has it figured out, all messy – hanging on to hope and reveling in the Glory.
At the time it was too much for me, all these letters. I cried and thought it too big a thing to have all these secret thoughts and intimate encouragements from mothers, the narratives of so many lives. At the time I had a newborn, a 1 year old, and a 3 year old, all BOYS. My eyes were crossed in young motherhood.
Now, down the road a little bit, I read them and swell with tears again in the common exhausted glory, the showerless beauty, the guilt-ridden works, and all the graceful releases involved in motherhood.
It’s different at every stage, and I hold these letters close to my heart. I have these pearls, words from mothers in our humble position, all of us trying to sprinkle patience in the rooms of our hearts – holding close and letting go all at once.
The amazing women of Squee! have come along side me and my husband and have worked long with us to chisel away and offer a collection of letters and photographs to you that will encourage the hearts of women in this mother journey while giving them a strong sense of recognition. We aren’t alone. Other women have missed the boat. Other women have kids screaming outside the bathroom door, and others have anchored deeply into faith so as not to be tossed out of their minds.
Mother Letters e-book is available now, a collection of letters and photos from mothers to mothers, to embolden and encourage mothers in their messy and glorious journey. If you need encouragement and know other mothers who do as well, we invite you to join us at the release of Mother Letters e-book and write your own Mother Letter, linking it with the Mother Letters Link-Up Party.Leave a Comment
My friend is expecting her first child. Her mom died of cancer a few years ago, so my friend will not have the blessing of having her own mom there sharing thoughts and giving encouragement along the way. I’d love her to be able to read Mother Letters.
I’m off to buy me a copy. 😉
BTW, I’m sharing this in several places! I love this project. A lot!
Amber Haines says
Go ahead and leave a comment for all the places you share about the book or this post, Michelle. Thank you for honoring the mothers in this book who have shared so much of themselves.
That’s ok. That wasn’t the reason I was sharing. 😉 I just love this idea. So awesome.
(I sort of missed that part of your post. 😉 )
melissa @ the pleated polka dot says
i have a friend, mother to a son. she is an amazing mother. however, she had a bumpy youth. she made a lot of mistakes (who hasn’t right?) but i would love to encourage her in motherhood. i would love for her to know how great she is at this and even in the every day mishaps and shortcomings that she is still amazing.
i love this project amber. love love love.
Southern Gal says
For my daughter, please. She’s a young mommy to a 22-month-old daughter and is expecting her second daughter in June. I know she would glean strength and encouragement from this collection of Mother Letters.
Natasha d says
I would like to see my lovely friend, Joanne, mother of 10 have this beautiful book!
Beautiful words Amber-beautiful family. You are so blessed! I love the gift your husband dreamed up. Thanks for the post fellow blogger~fellow mom.
Shelly Miller says
I have a friend who got pregnant unexpectedly with her fourth boy just when the others were all in school. She and her husband were dreaming about how she could travel with him on business from time to time and finally have some time for herself. She is struggling with the giving up, laying down, pushing dreams to the back burner again. I think this would be a great encouragement.
Lisa Easterling says
Oh, it is a hard thing, the holding off with dreams. The waiting is hard, even when our hearts know we’re only temporarily trading one dream for another right from the hand of God. These little ones so fresh from God still smell of Heaven but our minds get going down a road and the stopping and coming back can feel like whiplash and we grab the neck and we wince and we crumple and cry and wave the Holy Spirit on to do what He does–speak those guttural sounds that pierce God’s ear on our behalf when we’re too wrung out to form words.
The day my sonogram showed fourth boy a woman at the ball field spoke words that stung. “Oh, wow. I bet you’re disappointed.” Blinking hard, I backed away from her, nearly ran to the car to pull my sweet boy far from her dark words. I remember wanting to blanket my belly, to never let him hear or feel or believe such a terrible thought. That day I went home and named him Matthew. “Gift of Jehovah”. I never wanted him to doubt for a second that I considered him all gift from our graceful God. He is 19 now, still gift and full of grace.
I am praying right now for your sweet friend, lady-in-waiting, that God would fill her empties and show her the joy of this beautiful fourth son. I can’t imagine my life without mine. All is grace.
Lauren Alexander says
My fabulous friend Theresa is a fellow foster mom. She currently has a sibling group of four in her home. Her daughters are grown but she and her husband have seen a need and have been Jesus to these little ones who range in age from 2-17. She is a hero of mine.
Thanks for providing the giveaway!
My daughter just gave me my first grandlove…she is a sweet little momma. Like all moms…I gave her the best of me and the worst of me…to have the gift of many voices speaking from their hearts would be such a blessings to any mom…but I guess I am partial to my daughter. I don’t FB, Tweet or Pin…so this is all i have:) blessings to you~
I would love to give this to my friend Alyssa!
My friend, Nikki, has three young men who are (quickly) growing into godly men. In all the moments of their lives, she has (like Mary, with baby Jesus) treasured each moment in her heart. She would deeply appreciate the transparency and sincerity of the women who have written these letters. I’d love for her to receive a copy for Mother’s Day!
Stephanie Hanes says
My sister is expecting her first (and my first niece!) and I’d love to gift this to her as a way to encourage her as a new mom, because I know how overwhelming and exhausting it can be. Also, I think moms are the most negative on themselves – because we compare and expect so much of ourselves which only sets us up for failure. I’d love for more sister to have this wisdom from other moms to help her through those first few years.
Diana Trautwein says
This has got to be the single most beautiful project I’ve seen out here yet. Thank you, Amber – and thanks to Seth, too. I’m on as an affiliate and I’m giving books to several people – my own three kids and some young moms I have worked with in various settings. Just a gorgeous thing and a true gift from God to mothers everywhere. (And I LOVE THOSE PICTURES!!) Thanks for it all.
Amber Haines says
Sweet Diana! You always always bless us.
Beverly @ The Buzz says
I would love to give this to my youngest daughter. She is pregnant with baby #4 after having a miscarriage back in October. Her oldest is a 6 yr old girl, and her two boys are 4 and 2. She’s in the midst of potty training and kindergarten, keeping everyone fed and in shoes that fit. It’s all too easy to lose sight of the little things when you feel so overwhelmed. To read letters from those who are in the same boat–or who have survived these hard years–might go a long way toward making her days easier. Thanks for sharing!
Oh I love this idea. I try to get mom’s to write “mentor” posts on my blog once a week. It is so encouraging. I have a friend whose baby was born at 26 weeks. I would like to give her the book.
cheryl mimken says
i would love for my daughter in law to win this book. we have enjoyed traveling this mothering road together the last 3 years. she married my oldest son, who is 16 years older than my youngest son. so when they had their first son 3 years ago, he is only 6 years older than my youngest, James. they are growing up like brothers. now they have a 1 year old son, too. Between us, we have 7 sons! i send links to your posts weekly, b/c i want her to be as encouraged as much as i am. 🙂
Flora B. says
For my young sister-in-law mother of three. Would love to give her this book.
Wow! I would totally love this book! I have a 3 month old and another on the way! I would also share it with my friend who is expecting her first this summer!!!
My sister – in – law struggles with parenting and finding herself. Learning the balancing act that we all eventually learn, some later than others. This balancing act seems to elude her. I believe this book could truly help her and inspire her.
Karen H. says
My sister-in-law is the one!! She is a phenomenal mother of 4 boys (ages 3-13). She is also a high school teacher is a large public high school and uses those same amazing mother skills with her students. I would love her to get this book to show my appreciation for her love of my nephews.
I would love to be selfish and say “me,” struggling lately to find the light at the end of the tunnel and losing who am I in the midst of a 5 month old. Those smiles slay me, but most days there isn’t much left to give her and I go to bed empty and start the day empty.
Unselfishly, I would love to bless every mother I know with this book, but I would choose my sweet sister, raising my high spirited, hilarious, and strong willed 2 year old niece. Or maybe that’s still selfish, knowing I could convince her to let me borrow the book 🙂
I would share Mother Letters with my own mother. I’ve been searching for something to get her for Mother’s Day this year, and think I have found it! She is the mother of 4 nearly grown GIRLS, and now one son-in-law. My sister and her husband moved to NYC two years ago, and I moved to Atlanta last year, leaving my mom two girls at home in Nashville. My mom lost her mom last fall, and grieves for the things she cannot share with her each and every day. She struggles with the thoughts that she may not be doing everything right by us, and strives to trust the Lord with the details of our lives daily. We’ve never been wealthy, but my mom has made sure we have wanted for nothing, and she has taught all 4 of us what it means to work hard and lose sleep and devote your life to others. I love my mom very much, and would love to see her encouraged through this project! Thank you so much for putting it out there.
Peace and Grace to all who read,
first i have to say that i never tire of seeing your boys in photo. they are precious. and as mine grow older (teens now) i love seeing, holding, playing with the littles of the world. i know you said you come undone, but we all do. that’s just it. and it’s cool that in my season i don’t come undone so much anymore and can be there for the moms who unravel weekly, daily, hourly. this book? awesome. and if i had it to give, i would give it to my sister-in-law jsut moved 2500 miles to nc, to me, with three little privettes.
I love what you shared- thanks so much for sharing! What a great idea- such a gift to have all these mother letters. Would love to share with a friend expecting her first child!
My pastor’s wife…her own mother has passed away, she still has young children growing each day, and she encourages a lot of other women who are in all stages of motherhood and life.
Kristin K says
I think my mother would be encouraged by this book. She is super-mom having a 24 year old daughter and a 4 year old daughter all at the same time.. 🙂
Love you SUPER MOM!
Tonie B says
I would live to see my friend Valrie receive this as a gift. She is in the throes of motherhood on two fronts. She has a 16 year old daughter who the enemy is trying to win ove, AND, she has a 2 & 3 year old boys! The 3 year old has sensory issues. I can’t begint to tell you the incredible challenges she shares with me that she overcomes daily, with the strength of the Lord. Any and all encouragement she could get would be AWESOME!
My friend is execting her 3rd and going through all of the doubt I remember feeling at that point. After #3 I think there is some sort of switch of submission, a sort of surrender to the futility of trying to be all and do it all perfectly. Anyhow, she and I could both use the encouragement.
Our treasured young pastor and his wife have entered into the world of parenthood in a round about way. They felt the Lord calling them to foster and adopt and after a year of physical preparation, their world was turned upside down last week with the addition of two young boys – 5 months and 15 months. Annie is overwhelmed with the newness of motherhood. She would be a perfect candidate for such a beautiful encouraging book!
This would be a perfect gift of encouragement for my sister-in-law who has 2 teen boys, one of whom is autistic. What a wonderful giveaway idea!!
I would give it o a friend from church. She is overcoming hard circumstances from her past while dealing with difficult issues in the present. I think this book would be a real encouragement to her.
I have a bestie who would cry her mama eyes out! She has 3 grown boys. The youngest, mildly retarded and still living with her. She has been the most inspiring mom (to me) just doing what God called her to do!
She never gets tired of doing it….at least she never acts like she does.
See? She’s that good!
My sister-in-law is pregnant with twins, after years of trying! Yay! She is an amazing woman, and I would love to bless her with this book. I am so excited to be moving closer to her so I can squeeze those babies!
My sister-in-law is pregnant for the first time, after thinking that she couldn’t have babies, and I would love to share this book with her.
My friend Trish, mother to 3 under 4 yrs. She is a beautiful example of motherhood already, and needs every encouragement to continue in it!
My friend Jennifer, who recently moved away, and has three children. We share similar challenges, and it would be great to get some wisdom from mothers further along the path.
Lauren Kaczmarski says
I am blessed to call Cheyenne a friend. She is an incredible mother and wife. She has recently had her world ROCKED to the core and her unwavering faith and dependence on our heavenly father through it all has INSPIRED me. I would love to share the e-book with her!
I would love to see my sister read this book. She has two littles, just 14 months apart and faces the reality and beauty of each day with vigor but I know she would love the encouragement in these pages. I’ve been in tears several times already reading the first few pages of my copy. Thank-you.
I love your book. When I was young raising kids we didnt have this kind of encourgement and sharing. I want to share with my daughter in laws who are wonderful mothers. I want them to enjoy the journey and not feel alone in the beautiful craziness of training up a child.
Thank you for your beautiful book 🙂
A friend from my book club has recently had her first baby and is struggling a bit with the transition from independent career woman to all-mama, all the time. Would love to bless her with this!
Marina Bromley says
my mom died when i was young, and i missed the words of wisdom and encouragement while raising my family. what a treasure chest it will be for other young moms in those shoes.
although I’m a grandma now, i look forward to reading this book!
Kim Monday says
What a beautiful book.. I would like to send it to my friend Joy. She is not saved and I think this would be a great way to water a seed.
I am not sure if we have to post separately for another entry, but I am just going to say that I am posting this giveaway on my FB page..
Thank you for sharing!!!
Kim Monday says
I think I will also pin it to my “Things that encourage me” board as well… That way I won’t loose you… lol
Teresa S says
My amazing friend Jeannie is a wonderful mom and newly pregnant with her 6th. These stories would bless her I know.
for my daughter-in-law – raising our 2 little grandgirls, with the 2nd of our four grown sons.
Jennifer R. says
I would love my friend, Gina, to have a copy of this book. She is a pastor’s wife, a momma of three boys, and she lost her own mother at a young age. I believe this type of encouragement would be a wonderful blessing to her!
I would love to have a copy to loan out to the parents of the kids I teach.
Thank you for sharing this amazing source of encouragement! I could have used it many years ago — and maybe still even today at times!
I have a friend I don’t get to see very often. She is mother to three boys (growing up too fast). I would love to see her get a copy of this book.
I would love to give it to a teen mom in my church who has had a tough couple of years. She did not get pregnant by her choice, but chose to keep the baby anyway, despite the terrible circumstances. She loves her son & is a great mom, even though he has totally changed what she had planned for her life. I know she could use the encouragement & advice on motherhood, especially since she was not planning or prepared to have a baby this young.
Lisa Easterling says
I would give it to my beautiful daughter-in-love who is mothering my sweet little almost-two Rosabelle with the perfect mix of tender spunk. She is one of my most beloved heroes.
I would love to give this book to my sister, in the thick of it with boys herself right now. Thanks for putting it together to be accessible to all of us. I remember that Christmas and the blogs that solicited letters for your husband. I did not feel qualified to be a part – new mom at the time myself in the thick of it. Now, like you said seasons change. Can’t wait to read what my heart has known about for a while.
my daughter of a almost 4 year old, a 8 month old and a baby in heaven. i am 54 and didn’t have a mom for 95% of my life. its by the grace of God my girls turned out so well. and i think this would help give her encouragement.
I am so fortunate to be blessed by 3 other amazing women, and their husbands, at our Sunday evening small group. We do life together, we share life with each other, we take over an hour to share our prayer requests, we truly care for each other. I have never been part of such a deep sharing in a small group and I have been in many. We are families truly wanting to do God’s will in our personal lives, in our marriages, with our children, in our friendships and in our work lives. We do struggle as Moms, trying to do the best that we can for our children and some times it seems really hard. We share our concerns, our mess-ups, our successes, our trials, and how some times we do not feel like we measure up, and some times that is because we are comparing ourselves to those other “perfect” Moms. So I would love to win this book for one of those three Mom’s: Angie, Mandy, or Jill. Thank you for this amazing giveaway, and what a sweet gift from your husband.
Terry Engleman says
Reading these beautiful posts and weeping for my children. They are no longer children, and no longer with me. My daughter is 21 and my son is almost 18. Four years ago, their father and I divorced. He was an emotionally abusive alcoholic and I could see no other way. I had tried everything. My kids chose to stay with their dad. It made sense for them at the time, no rules, no mom to make us toe the line, etc.
Unfortunately, I went along with it, seeing no other choice for me.
They live 700 miles away and are not living the kind of lives I had hoped for them, and each day I yearn for the days when I could just reach out and hug them, watch them grow and be there as a mother. My heart hasn’t stopped breaking and I guess it never will.
I get to see them a couple of times each year (when I can afford it), and we enjoy being together. But in the meantime, I miss them sooooooo much.
This is to encourage the moms who are watching their babies grow up. Sometimes you think it is so hard — and yes, it is. But it is so worth it. And the time absolutely flies past you. You really will yearn for the days when you had to tell them 100 times to do something and the days you had to break up arguements over who was in whose personal space. You will ache for the days you could hold them and bathe them in a little plastic tub. I promise this is so. And those days will be gone forever. So, try to drink in each moment and store it in your memory banks so you can go back to it. Love, love, love your children with every ounce of your mommy being.
Jessica Mumford says
I would adore the opportunity to gift my mother with this. I want her to know she is a great mother and that God loves her!
Oh I love this idea! I love the description of ‘crosseyed in young motherhood’… It’s a perfect description of me today (4,3 and 18mths). I have so many friends who I’d love to share this with. What a great read, I’m sure!
there is a new mother in my MOPS group, and i know she would get a lot out of this book.