About the Author

Lisa-Jo is the best-selling author of Never Unfriended and Surprised by Motherhood. Her newest book, The Middle Matters: Why That (Extra)Ordinary Life Looks Really Good on You invites us to get a good look at our middles and gives us permission to embrace them.

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  1. The one thing that surprised me was actually after my second child was born was my importance on raising my family instead of my career. After the first I still put career first many times(shamefully). Now with two children all my concern is how I’m raising them and the career is 4th in life and may stay that way even after the kids are grown. I’ll always want to be their mom and put them near the top even when they are adults

  2. I don’t have kids of my own, but I continue to be surprised by how I look up to and identify with my mom as I enter each new stage of adulthood. As a kid and teenager, I guess I never realized that I would identify with her when I was an adult. Now I see so much humor, grace, compassion, and wisdom in her that I just didn’t notice when I was younger, and I am inspired to be more and more like her.

  3. Hi Lisa-Jo,

    My mom died when I was 19 years old. I was married and my daughter was 9 months old. I was glad God had given them to me as I think it helped me to cope with my mom’s death.

    I love that my kids are now all young adults, I am in my 40’s and we are having fun. My husband and I are enjoying are time alone together!! It is wonderful to see them blossoming and flying out on their own.

  4. I didn’t expect to have a limitless flow of love for these little humans! When I was expecting my second child, I worried to myself “how will I love this one as much as I love my Rachel? There’s just no way…” I cried and cried over it, actually. And lo and behold, it’s possible 🙂 I can’t imagine my life without my Hannah. There’s no level you use to measure your love, you just realize when you look at them for the first time that you would do anything for them.

  5. My Mom passed away last May and it has been very difficult learning to live without her. Being a daughter a mom and a grandmother has been for me wonderful, emotional, difficult , joyous and at times sorrowful. One thing can say is it is truely a gift from God. We also lost my Dad im January so great lose for our family this year. However my son and his wife are expecting their first child so new life on the horison. Would love to win a copy of your book to give to her.

  6. One thing that surprised me about my mom as I’ve grown up is that some of the things she told me that I didn’t believe she was right about…or at least other people have told me the same thing…

  7. I am amazed that just when I think I’ve got this whole motherhood thing figured out, I realize I’m still just learning… 🙂
    This book seems delightful!

  8. One thing that has surprised me about being a mother is how much I can be my true self around my child. I’ve never felt comfortable around other people, even singing in the car with others in it is something that I just don’t do. I’ve always felt that fear of being judged. But I don’t feel that way around my three year old son. I can be silly with him, sing in the car, and do all kinds of other stuff that I normally wouldn’t do. And he doesn’t judge me! In fact, he usually laughs and thinks I’m pretty awesome. It’s neat to be able to feel like myself around him, and it’s neat to be able to teach him to be himself at the same time.

  9. What surprised me about motherhood is how God uses our kids to teach me lessons everyday when I thought I would be the one teaching them… humbling

  10. I think the thing that surprised me the most in the very beginning was how I wasn’t completely and fully in love with my new role as a mom. It’s still hard to write now, knowing some people won’t understand what I mean and take it the wrong way. I absolutely love my kids. Hear that. And after a few years of trying hard to form a family, when it finally happened through adoption, everyone, including myself, thought I should be ecstatic and never have any hard days. Wrong. Motherhood is hard, and I wanted so badly for some one to tell me that truth, or validate my truth. So to all you new moms (or moms in general) YOU’RE DOING GREAT! AND WHAT YOU’RE FEELING IS NORMAL AND OK!

    • Meg,

      Having adopted three times, and having a biological child I do understand. Being a mom is such a completely huge life change. If any attachment issues are a part of the whole scenario, that complicates the mix. I read something that was so freeing and want to pass it on. You are being a good mom by just the desire to want to love your kids, and just by the desire to want to learn to enjoy being a mom. In so many ways, adoption is harder, but worth it. All adoption starts with loss for both your children and their biological mom. Different dynamics….

      Hugs,

      Joanne

  11. Meg, I sure understand you! I still struggle to relate to my peeps that I love so dearly and wonder why it’s so difficult to share my heart with them. (Ok- I don’t really wonder , I know why, but every single day requires tremendous effort to relate) I’ve seen God redeem so many things and know that he is in the process of redeeming this too but I’d like a pass to the front of the line on this one.

    Hang in there sister! God is helping us find missing pieces of ourselves as we learn to love these children!!!

  12. As I get older I’m constantly amazed at how my mom knows more and more about life than I ever thought possible and I can’t imagine what I’m going to do when she’s no longer here.

  13. I was shocked from day one at how my children are completely and totally their own people. As much as I’d sometimes like them to be a little easier to control, they are wholly separate from me, making their own decisions all the time.

  14. As I prepare for my firstborn to graduate high school next month, I realize I never understood how fast time could fly by. It seems like just yesterday that I was looking at her little three year old face, and now that time is all gone. I also didn’t understand the depths of emotion I would feel along the way. I suppose the best lesson has been that in shaping someone else’s character, mine has been shaped more.

  15. I was totally surprised by having boys! It was a whirl wind adventure after growing up with sisters to birth boys, I’ve been surprised by their love for me & their need & dependence on me. Really grateful for their surprise in my life.

  16. I’m surprised at how fascinated I am by my daughter, and at the depth of love I have for her. Even before she was born, I knew I’d love her. I just had NO idea how much!!

  17. I had no idea how emotional and rewarding it would be to see my now grown son about to have a child of his own. What a sweet surprise for my heart!

  18. I’m continually surprised by how much I am starting to be just like my mother! Even after years of saying I’d be different. 🙂 And finding out that it’s not such a bad thing. 🙂
    Also surprised by the fierceness of my love for my daughter… And h

  19. “You never stop being’mom'” is what my mother said as I grew up and was out of the nest. Now that my children are grown I see that is so very true. Your children are always your children no matter their age or stage of life.

  20. What surprises me most about being a mother is the unconditional love I have for my daughter. Even though my own mother loved me, it wasn’t something that was spoken or showed affectionately. I never stop kissing and smiling at my Violet!

  21. As a work outside the home mother to a 1 year old, I am in awe of the strength of my own mother. She raised two girls as a single parent while maintaining a very demanding career. She was always there and we didn’t lack for anything. She maintained her poise at all times. I can only imagine the weight she carried to bed every night.

  22. I was surprised by motherhood in that it completely changed me. My attitude, my outlook, everything changed for the better and poured into this precious calling. Has it been hard? Absolutely. Am I sleep deprived? Most days. But I am a better woman for it.

  23. One thing that surprised me about motherhood was realizing that my kids are on loan to me. I have learned that I have to seek God and trust his plan for their lives 🙂 This has freed me up quiet a bit! I mother for God not for others!!

  24. I was surprised by how much your own needs and wants don’t seem to matter as much anymore – and, you’re pretty OK with that!

  25. I am so thankful for my son. . .I didn’t become a mom until I was almost 37. . then we had a miscarriage after my son. . .so we have our one child. . .Sometimes other moms judge me for having just one child, but they don’t know how thankful I am for that one. 🙂

  26. I have a son headed to college this year, and I am so surprised when I look at him and see the man he is becomming. When did it happen? Where did my Star-Wars loving little boy go who had a hard time saying “r” in a word? I never imagined a time that he would leave and begin his new life, even though I knew it was bound to happen. Motherhood is full of so many phases and feelings and emotions. Somehow God made us able to wear all of these hats. Some days I am surprised that I kept him alive and well for 18 years!

  27. Well I’m not a mom yet.. but let’s just say I was surprised to find out I was pregnant. 🙂 My husband and I have been married about two years and were planning to wait a while before “thinking” about having kids. It’s an odd feeling between being excited and anxious. I feel as if my surprises have only just begun.

  28. I was “Surprised by Motherhood” before my first was ever born. The profound love I had for a child that couldn’t yet be seen in any way other than a + on a stick, then all the pains and aches of pregnancy and the months of bedrest to get her here safely and how each moment I loved this little person even more than I thought I could the second before. Then the labor, oh how it hurt, no pain meds, my first time, feeling like I would die, and then there she was and I lay’d my eyes on her and that love that I didn’t think could get any bigger grew even more, no recollection of how it felt other than being able to say it hurt. Holding my sweet baby before they cut the cord, my eyes and her eyes melting into each other, souls already connected and not because of the physical umbilical cord but because of the “Soul” cord. Miscarriages and babies and love keeps growing. I burst at the seams and often cry because of how deep that love goes. Knowing God loves even MORE than I can imagine is beyond words…

    Congratulations on it finally being the big day Lisa-Jo, I know you have worked really hard and put your soul into this book. May the Lord continue to bless you on this journey and continue to inspire you.

  29. I’m surprised by how fast everything changes in the first few years. I mean, I KNOW kids grow so fast and become little independent beings, but how to handle it is a mystery to me. Trying to depend on God for the wisdom to help these kids grow up loving Him and me trying to remember He created them perfectly and chose me to be their mother.. It’s gotten harder as they get older, oy!

  30. Surprised by motherhood? Uh, yeah. I was a trained psychologist, one who said “My kids will never…..” (fill in the blank)

    Twenty-seven years later, my kids DID all those things, and are pretty great adults, despite my mess-ups!

  31. That it would mold me into a better person and that it can be hard but yet beautiful

  32. A beautiful moment etched into the DNA of every cell in my body…..when I was holding in my arms my newly hatched Baby Girl and I looked at my mom and asked her “Do you love me like THIS?”. She just smiled quietly and said “Yes.”.

  33. The one thing about motherhood that has surprised me is the joy you receive for caring for someone who truly needs you – and the overwhelming love that is felt from your children. It is captivating. Even when you get overwhelmed and throw a “hissy-fit” :), children always forgive you, no matter what. They are precious little blessings.

  34. I have a deep appreciation for women who are mothers… I desire to be a mom too…. I pray that God would honor that dream for me……would love to ready this book and I love tea sets….

  35. The deep love I have for each of my 6 children; and how much I love being a mother!

  36. I always expected that I would spend a lot of time teaching my children everything from math facts to Bible verses. What surprised me was how much my children teach me, just by being who they are. I am a different person—a better person, I hope—because of their examples.

  37. Each and every day is another proud moment as a Mom. I’ve come to the realization that although I’m not the perfect Mom, I’m perfect for my son. Like most, there’s nothing I can and won’t do for him, and he knows that. I’ve never known the type of love that I feel for my son. It’s different than any other. I’ve learned that managing a career and being a Mom is perfectly okay. In fact, it’s good for my son and for me. He’s not missing out on a thing. He’s getting all of my attention and love when we’re together and still the social interaction of others when I can’t be with him and he and I both are better for it.

  38. One thing that surprised me about motherhood is I never expected to live the life of a special needs mother to a nonverbal child. She has taught me more than any book, movie or person could. God used her to help me realize I needed him. Our story is amazing and gets richer every day.

  39. My mom has been a great role model my entire life and now that I am a mom it is even more obvious that I want to follow in her footsteps and raise my daughter to be a Godly woman.

  40. The thing that surprises me most is how much I do things like my own mom did. The things I swore I would never say or do, noting bad really, just words that come outdoor my mouth where I think, “was that me, or my mom?” I lost my own mom in November 2011, so now those words are a comforting reminder of where I came from.

  41. I’m surprised how much I’m still enjoying it and how I don’t want this season to end!

  42. One thing that surprised me about motherhood was the beauty and difficulty and joy I experienced at every stage and even today.

  43. Something that surprised me is something I learned after years of motherhood. I am not “that Mom”, and that is okay. My kids feel loved and love me in return for just being their Mom.

  44. What surprised me the most is that motherhood is discipling! The passages in Scripture about laying down your life for someone, putting others ahead of yourself, and serving, came vibrantly alive for me when I became a mother. I thought, in sleepless “teething” nights, in times of cleaning up various bodily fluids, while walking with an exploring toddler on a 20-minute journey that took an hour and a half, “Oh, THIS is what it means … .”

    I also understood God as Father in a whole new and deeper way as I journeyed through motherhood. I understood the heartbreak of watching your child make their own mistakes (so grateful that none of them have been really bad mistakes!). I understood the pain of having to discipline and say “no” sometimes, because you know what’s best. And I understood the outpouring of love, poured into our hearts from the Father’s heart.

  45. I have been surprised by how hard it is to leave my babies, even for a few hours. I always feel relieved to get a few moments alone…and I miss them at the same time!

  46. I thought for sure I’d have girls with dark, curly hair & brown eyes, just like me. Who loved to dance & dress up & paint & color. I have two boys, a dirty blond & a red head, with the most soulful gray-blue eyes. Who love to play sports & wrestle & get dirty & shout & just be boys. And they are the sweetest, funniest, smartest kids I know (I may be a little biased), and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  47. The one thing that surprised me, how does something so small totally capture your heart…. 6-7 lb. baby becomes your world. 🙂 But then how fast time flies (trite, but so true) and how totally in love you are with them as adults. Still your children, but grown ups. Wonderful, glorious, grown ups….. Truly, such a wonder!

  48. Oh motherhood–it’s been a journey in the short six years I’ve been one. In that time, I’ve birthed two girls and become a single mom after losing my husband. Sounds tragic, I know…but, here’s the thing I want to share. While at first I felt parenting alone would kill me even more than the initial months of widowhood did, three years later I’ve come to discover it HAS SAVED ME…God gave me motherhood, a mother’s heart and a desire to raise up my baby girls by His guidelines and it’s only been through faith-based motherhood that I’m able to live-well as a young widow. Motherhood has been a journey and I am so blessed that I am in love with it…even more than I think I would have been had my husband not gone to heaven. That’s God’s way. He blesses us even in the darkest hour.

  49. I was surprised at how INTENSE my emotions were. I am a driven person, with a broken home background and my drive to protect that for my children is such a motivator. It’s helped my marriage tremendously!

  50. I’m surprised at the sacrifices I’ve made for my daughter and also the sacrifices I now realize that my mother made for me.

  51. One thing that surprised me about motherhood is the huge difference between raising a girl and a boy. Not only that but the uniqueness in each one’s personality has helped me to better understand different characteristics of God as well as different facets of His immense love for me. It’s a journey and a partnership.

  52. We are probably supposed to say something eloquent and positive here, but as I thought about what surprised me most about motherhood, it had to be fear. And as much as I want to find a different, sweet comment to write, I can’t think of anything that surprised me more about motherhood. I knew, intellectually, that I would have deep feelings surrounding the tremendous responsibility of motherhood, but I would have never guessed there would be so much fear and worry tied in with that. More than any fear or worry I’ve had for myself. When my kids were younger it was fear that they will be abducted, fear that they will not meet all of the apporpriate milestones, fear that they will get hurt, etc. As they grow, new fears join the old– fear that they will get in with bad friends, fear that they will do drugs, fear that they will not go to college, fear that they will pick the wrong mate, fear that I will not be around to finish raising them.

    • Fear is a big part of motherhood. You are not the only mother who feels this. When you love someone, you have fears or concerns. God gave you these children, and He wants to be there to guide them as they grow. If you believe this and give your concerns to God, then you will be free to experience the joy of motherhood. It is a hard task to let go. I know because I still struggle with it each day, and my sons are 34 and 32. But on the days when I do step aside and let God handle my worries, It is glorious.
      Try it..you might like it. : )

  53. As motherhood has taken me down a dark alley and out the other side into glorious sunshine, I was surprised at the depth of even the human experience of unconditional love and restoration and the insight that brought into the unfathomable love of our Heavenly Father.

  54. one thing that surprised me so much was how much more I could love something. I have learned that the kids will love you no matter if the house is messy, things don’t get done, but most of all they just want to spend time with you..

  55. My daughter just announced she is pregnant. I want to tell her a wonderful story about moms.

  56. As a foster/adoptive mom, I have had 17 children. What surprises me most (and it is something I share with any new moms I meet) that each child leaves us guessing – struggling to understand what is best practice for this child at this time. The five year old I have now is stretching me every bit as much, possibly more so, than the baby girl with Asperger’s who made me a mommy thirty years ago.

  57. I am a new mother and have been surprised by just how much I love my daughter, how thankful I am that she is here and a part of our family, and how much I love being her mom.

  58. My first unexpected thought was, ” Really, the hospital is going to let me take her home?!! Are they sure I can take care of her?!” My next unexpected thing about motherhood was the overwhelming, unconditional love that I now had for another human being- and it never dies! As I always tell my daughter, ” I love you always & forever, no matter what!”

  59. I’m amazed by how you seem to unknowingly grow thru the different stages with your kids and don’t realize it til you have to start from newborn again with the next one. And the deep unconditional love God has put in my heart for my kids, born and soon to be born.

  60. My mom (who had 5 children) told me that when you have more than one child, your love for them is not divided – – it multiplies! I found that to be so true – – with each child who was born into our family, I didn’t have less love for the ones already there – – but MORE love! I love God’s math!!!!

  61. What surprised me about motherhood? Nothing and Everything.
    I had a great mom as a role model, and I was a babysitter from high school school through college.
    Being a mother was my ‘dream job’….until I actually became a mom. During my first few weeks with my son, I kept wondering when is the REAL mom coming to get him. I thought motherhood would come naturally to me because I loved kids and could relate to them.
    But it was hard and heavenly sometimes all in the same day. It was not until I became a grandma that I finally believed that I might have passed some of those parenting tests. : )

  62. I was surprised by the words of my own mother that came back to me in certain situations. I was surprise by the feeling that my own child was like wearing my heart outside my own body.

    I am speaking about mothers and daughters soon! I would to read this book before hand!

  63. The thing that surprised me the most about motherhood was miscarriages. I never expected or prepared to be the mom who lost her babies. When Mother’s Day came, I was the quiet mom who grieved with empty arms and an aching heart.

  64. Actually two things stood out and surprised me the most when I became a mother. The first I especially noticed with my first child- how imperfect I am. I became much more aware of all my shortcomings and flaws. It was like my child was holding a mirror and I could see things in me I did not like. The second thing, or maybe it is really a part of what I just mentioned, the unconditional love my children had for me. In spite of all my flaws, my children love me unconditionally. When my six yr old puts her hand on my cheek and says I am so pretty – I’ve never experienced such unconditional love. That must be the way God loves us – complete love with no attachments. Pure love , trust and faith in me… That is what surprised me.

  65. Motherhood surprised me in how long a moment can feel in the midst of it but how fleeting the time with our children really is. Young moms, do whatever it takes to enjoy them while they are still home! Love the book trailer.

  66. I will forever be amazed that my mother just continued to love and give and know me enough to let me be closer to my dad without it ruining my relationship with her. We are very alike in personality and would butt heads so hard when I was younger. We don’t as much now because I have the added wisdom of being a mother myself. We can now share the frustration of a child who won’t take what’s best for them because it was pointed out by another instead of discovered on their own. I hope and pray that I can stay just as understanding with my own strong-willed children.

  67. I have been surprised and amazed at how much love I instantly felt for my daughter the moment she was born and how much she changed me for the better. I keep coming back to “Parenting is a lot like breaking up with yourself…”

  68. I too am surprised at how much I hurt when they hurt. And it seems to be harder now as they are older, I suppose because as young adults the stakes can be so much bigger. But I also am so thankful for the times we can rejoice together in their triumphs.

  69. I was always certain that being a mom was my calling. But as we tried to conceive and months turned into years and my arms were still empty and my heart was broken for the baby that was born before her time and now lives with Jesus we chose adoption because BEING A MOM WAS MY CALLING. And we got this precious beautiful baby boy. And once the days of him being so so tiny faded and he could talk back and be defiant and destroy things in my house I wondered if maybe I misheard my calling. Maybe what I waited for so long wasn’t really my calling. And finding your blog Lisa-Jo and seeing others who felt they were failing gave me courage to believe I didn’t mistake my calling. So after all that- I was most surprised by how inadequate I felt being a mom when it was all I ever hoped to be.

  70. My mom died last May after 3 years of fighting ovarian cancer. As I was sick in the bathroom with the flu this year, praying that I wouldn’t throw up, and hating feeling sick, I realized anew how strong and brave and tenacious she was to keep fighting. I’m so thankful that she is more-than-well now!

  71. It doesn’t end when your children turn 18, or 21, or even 30!. In fact, I think it might just get harder:)

  72. I am more inspired as a mother the older I get. I love my grown children more than ever. They are grown and am humbled by the way they love their children and are teaching them the love of Jesus. I could have been a much better mother and I am so blessed by how much they love me as their mother; they are truly precious gifts from God.

  73. As I get older I realize more and more how much my mom did for my sister and I. She always put us first before herself. I love her so much!

  74. I’ve just been surprised how fast my children have grown up! I have a son and a daughter in college already, and I can see how they are getting so independent and barely even need me…. even so, it’s making me try to appreciate my 11 year old daughter still at home. I don’t want to miss anything. And it’s a pang in my heart to remember all of them when they were small, and how much of a blur it all was…it was a sweet time. Though, really, I enjoy seeing them grown also. They are amazing people!

  75. I love being a Mom…have always loved being a Mom. When my daughter and son-in-law blessed me with my first grandchild, I was “blown away”. I knew I would love being a grandma…but I was not expecting the double blessing that I received…watching my daughter being a Mom. WOW! Such a blessing…such a privilege. This part still brings tears to my eyes and “blows me away”! Thank You God!

  76. I was never able to have children, but oh I wish I could have so they could have known the love of my mother. Precious, precious love.

  77. Motherhood has surprised me in a lot of ways – in how much my heart would grow to make room for each new little one, in how much my own body aches when my kids are sick or sad, in how exhausting and hard the day in and day out of mothering really is, in how my kids can make me scream in frustration one moment and make my heart melt the very next…but, mostly, in how much I really can’t imagine my life any other way.

  78. I am comtinually surprised by how much mothering and prayer is needed even as my children have become adults and spreading their wings. Mothering young children is physically exhausting, but mothering adults children is mentally exhausting all while trying to be an example caring for aging parents. I am constantly reminded that God is good all the time.

  79. One thing about being a mom is that there are multiple! Joyously pursuing each day is a challenge. Embracing the unstructured schedule that comes with motherhood is also. So one thing about being a mom is knowing that what you set out to do may not be what you accomplish and being okay with that. The alternative is feeling unaccomplished. That will set a negative tone for all you do. Set out to accomplish your goals knowing that obstacles will come and joyfully move them however necessary with pursuit of maintaining what you value most.

  80. One thing I’ve discovered about being a mom, as my children are now adults-I cannot solve their problems. When they tell me things, they are not looking for a solution necessarily, they just want to share their struggles with me. They also share their great and exciting things with me too. Lots of prayers going to God on behalf of them.

  81. I am so surprised at how much God has used my baby girl to strengthen my relationship with Him. He has shown me that I see & love her is only a glimpse of how he loves me. And I am thankfully surprised at the amount of patience given! 😉

  82. I have been surprised by the overwhelming love i have for each of my children. I have also been surprised by how often my mom was right. 🙂 Some things you just can’t understand until you are a mom.

  83. I am forever suprised by how slowly the days go by but how quickly the years go by. So I have worked to become intentional with my time in the day-to-day interactions with my children…listening more, playing more, cleaning less, etc. Because the days that go by so slowly are where the memories of the rapidly passing years are made.

  84. I am surprised by how hard it is to see them so crushed by someone’s words or actions. How hard it is to let my children make their own decisions, good or bad.

  85. Motherhood has brought the greatest joys and fulfillment as well as the greatest hurts. I would not trade it for anything. I thank the Lord for the blessing of 3 children..

  86. Having children has shown me how much my parents and grandparents love me and cared about watching me grow up happy and healthy. I appreciate them more than ever!

  87. I am realizing just how much I don’t know, and how often I am feeling inadequate and stretched. I have had to work at loving my oldest this round of children. We have had adoption attachment/behavior issues that has made loving tougher. But, this has also shown me resilience for the no matter what, we are a family and we stick together.

  88. I remember my mother always said ‘just wait until you have kids then you will understand’ ,and I’m surprised by how true that statement is. In mothering my own children I have a newfound love for my mom, the young mother she was when I was a child and too young to appreciate her and when I was a teen too self absorbed to even notice her. I wish as a 39-year-old that I could go and have lunch with my 39 year old mother of the past because I know we’d be great friends.

  89. The selfless love from a momma to a daughter…I would give my life for her.

  90. What a blessing to have mothered my 3 children, then been given a second chance by raising my 3 grandchildren. Hard work but very rewarding. I love to speak into other mother’s lives and this book might help me on that journey.

  91. I am a daughter, mother and grandmother. My 91 year old mother lives with me. It’s surprising to me that though I am 56 she still tells me not to go outside barefoot and to put a jacket on when its cold. It’s also funny to hear my daughter use the same expressions with her children that she rolled her eyes over when I used them. Being a mother myself has expanded my heart in so many different ways. Whether its mothering my children, grandchildren or now my own mother, there’s always more room in my heart. . Love truly doesn’t divide it multiplies.

  92. I thought I knew what being a mom really meant but….I am a little overwhelmed and idd not know how much I would lose myself. I am trying to figure out how to find myself back.

  93. I have a friend who is about to become a first time mom….she needs some encouragement!!!

  94. I always thought that motherhood would really bring out the unselfishness in me. After all, for 41 years my mother has made it look so easy, but along with everything else, I have to work at it. When the days have been long and frustrating, all I want is time away, but that time is not an easy thing to find. And the kids have to be too priority. I am constantly a work in progress when it come to that. And I look to my own mother to find my inspiration.

  95. I was surprised when my mom told me she and my dad almost eloped. Never saw that side of her 🙂

  96. My mother passed away before I had my son and we were not able to share the blessings that my other siblings experienced when she was alive. I see a lot of my mother in my son and it is comforting to know that she lives on through us. As my son ventures to college I am taken aback and my heart aches for the little boy who used to love playing with his toys on the floor and make up his own noises for each character. That little boy is now a young man so confident and strong. All the things I never was and God uses him daily to show me that I too can be that person. Mama we know you are watching over us and smiling 🙂

  97. Grace!!! I was nut expecting to learn more about grace. I make mistakes and nit always know what I am doing and surprise surprise my kids still love me!! I don’t have to fix me, yo be the perfect mom, I don’t need to fix my kids, it’s up to God to teach them lessons, there is grace in motherhood.

  98. When my firstborn was laying in his crib sleeping, not *doing* anything, and I was madly in love with him, God helped me see that is the love He has for me, that I didn’t have to *do* anything to earn His love. It was one of many times that God used the moment I was in as a parent to continue to reach out to me as His child.

  99. A surprise is something you don’t expect. I don’t think that having children turned out exactly as I expected it to, but I do know it has turned out to be wonderful and exhausting and a huge blessing from God.

  100. My mom passed when I was 13 so I too was a bit apprehensive when it came to motherhood. But now the mother of 4 and angel twins(long story) I just pray every day that I’m doing right by them and pray God protects them from my ignorance. LOL

  101. What surprises me continually about being a mom (to 3 boys!) is the strength I keep finding to keep parenting even when things are tough. 🙂

  102. I’m not a mom (yet!) and my mom died when I was 6. I guess sometimes the things I learn about her life now do surprise me – it’s amazing meeting people who she impacted.

  103. Hmm, I was surprised by how much spit up can come out of such a small baby. I was surprised by how traumatic bandaids can be (sometimes even worse than the actual cut, evidently!). And most of all, I was surprised by how much my kids make me laugh.

  104. Surprised by how much I loved staying home with my two small ones when I decided to stop working at my job..and what a wonderful new ‘job’ and journey my three girls have provided for me. Eighteen years and it’s the best job ever!

  105. Surprised to be a mom of twins who are so very different. They keep me on my toes daily and it is hard to believe they will soon be 18 and going out into the world. I wonder what it will be like for them to be apart.

  106. I was surprised at how little control over my kids I actually have!! I used to look down on moms whose kids had public tantrums, would run away or spit in their face. Now I share in their suffering. I realized before I was a mom I thought I knew it all, now as a mom of 2 little boys I realize I actually know very little!

  107. What surprised me the most about becoming a mother, was realizing I would move heaven and earth to protect and care for my daughter after she was born. I was given up for adoption at 6 months of age, and when my own daughter reached that same age, I remember looking at her and thinking there was nothing I wouldn’t do for her. Quite a bonding moment for me, I believe because of my history of being given up at such an odd age.

  108. I ws surprised at how much love I could have for each new baby when they came along and there was no limit to what I would do to protect and care for my children.

  109. I am surprised by how much it melts my heart to see that first smile, hear that first laugh, see that first tooth, see that first crawl & stand & then step, hear that first word, feel that first kiss, feel that first hug, and witness a child become a little amazing person that God made. Every single new and first thing is amazing!

  110. I have been amazed at how full and rich the Scripture is that says “Children are a reward”….Oh yes, my three children {21,19 and 14} are so priceless. They give their Daddy and I so much joy as they live for Jesus! We anticipate meeting our 3rd child, who in 1997 went to heaven. God is so good to bless us!!

  111. What surprised me most about motherhood that it’s not as happy as people make it seem. And I realized that most mom’s won’t tell you the truth about motherhood for fear that they’ll look like a bad mom.

  112. Motherhood was always my goal and after ’empty nest’ left me feeling empty, we adopted two children from Russia. I thought I could give them everything that they had not had in Russia, but I recently realized that if I was a perfect mom they would have no need to pursue a Saviour. God has been teaching me so much about TRUST and about His love for each of us.

  113. One thing that has surprised me is just how much joy it has given me – what a great ride! As I look at my youngest and her husband expecting their first child in August, I can only hope she finds as much joy as I have in being a mom! I knew it would be joyful; I just had no idea how joyful! What a great ride!!!

  114. One thing that has surprised me is how much I really truly need others to help me on my motherhood journey. I have always leaned toward being very independent and I started mothering that way, thinking I could do it all on my own. I thought I had to be supermom or I was failing (believing the lie that you’re weak if you ask for help). As I’ve grown both in motherhood and in my relationship with Jesus, I’ve learned to not only accept help and wisdom but also seek it and my goodness does it make this journey all the more enjoyable.

  115. I am surprised at how quickly you can go from feeling like a confident, good, loving, Christian mom to feeling like a failure in all aspects of parenting. I have two young girls. They are 4 and 16 months. I was the one who always wanted to be a stay at home mom and told everyone, when I was asked what I want to do in college. I was confident, easy going and honestly took to parenting very well with my newborns. Although it was a totally different experience and a little scary at times, I was good at being a mom of babies. Now my confidence and my sanity is definitely shaken with my defiant, hard, 4 year old with a major attitude. I’m sure I will have these same feelings of confidence and then doubt for years to come and in all the different stages of their lives. I have to continually rely on God’s grace and mercy for me, to be able to show my girls grace and mercy.

  116. I’ve been surprised by how many times it has forced me to my knees in prayer. I knew it would be hard, but I had no idea that it would be impossible to do alone. God is more than just a good idea, He’s the only way I can make it through even one day.

  117. I was another teen that never wanted children. Had my daughter at 34, then God gave me the blessing of raising two lovely grandchildren when I should be retiring! Wouldn’t change it for the world. Never say never!

  118. Mine is 18 now and every season of our life has very different sets of challenges.

  119. More surprises than space here to write after 27 yrs of being a mother 🙂 But so thankful for the surprises of seeing my children do well in things after having those days of wondering if we’re doing well as a parent….you know – like watching them serve others, use their manners even when they don’t know you’re watching, make a good choice, make the honor roll, etc. All praise to God for his mercy and grace as we journey.

  120. I was surprised at how much of my sinfulness was revealed to me when I became a mother.

  121. I loved being a Mom & enjoyed my son so much as he was growing up. What surprised me or more like caught me offguard is when he went off to college several hundreds of miles away. I didn’t expect it to be so hard!!! I had Empty Nest Syndrome the entire time he was off at college. 4 1/2 years. He came home for a year & then left to go off on his own. I finally did get over it, but still miss those fun times together.

  122. As an empty-nest mom of two and “mimi” to four gifts called “grand”children, my love for my own never fails…it only becomes more difficult to step back from mothering and to be grateful for the “second” chance to do better the second time around through the precious moments with the grands! 🙂

  123. I think a big surprise for me was that I could be “the mom my kids needed”, without being “the perfect mom”. Heaven knows I am not perfect. 🙂 But, I am learning that the equipment we have before motherhood is just that. Equipment. Case in point… I’ve always been passionate. But, I never knew the many shapes that passion would take before my children arrived. But, God knew. And that’s why he built passion into me. Because HE knew what they would need, and how HE wanted to build them. And, for that… I am humbled.

  124. As a Mother and Grandmother that has been though much Heartache and Healing I have experienced that love suffers long and love is also patient. My time with the Lord gives me a fresh perspective from the Lord’s eyes as to what Love is and how Love acts. Motherhood is Humbling, Hard, but most of all an opportunity to see the Harvest taking place in ones Heart as one looks to our Heavenly Father’s grace. An honor and a opportunity to experience HOPE.

  125. My mom is always surprising me with her STRENGTH. She has been through so much, and everytime she comes out stronger.

    Last week she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 45. And yet again, she surprises me with her strength.

  126. Me before kids: its a cake walk. Reality: not easy, always messy and u never stop learning to do and handle things with more and more endless grace.

  127. There isn’t enough space to write about the love I have for my mother. She’s an only, I am, and our daughter is, too. She’s been and is my best friend.
    We are parents of our fifteen year old beautiful daughter. And foster parents of a seven month old handsome boy.
    I would give my life for them both. The mother love for both is equally strong and protective. My heart hasn’t split to share my love. My heart’s chambers have stretched to include more love.
    In my life book the chapters for my mothering are still being written. Each child has their own unique, adjective and adverb filled pages.
    Mothering is like a song with new verses still being composed.

  128. Oh – the tea sets – I just adore them! That’s a happy place to be today. So many things about being a Mama have surprised me. I never imagined that I would be so frustrated by seeing my own shortcomings personified in my child – and realizing that it was because she was living out what she saw. Nothing has been a better lesson to be in becoming a better person than wanting to be a better model, a better reflection for her. She consistently teaches me about making the right choices, about giving (and receiving grace), and about what unconditional love looks like. Thank you for this book. It is a blessing. So are you!

  129. I am continually surprised at how God has used these precious little people in my life to mold me – to continually show me His grace and His love and His compassion and His faithfulness.

  130. The thing that surprised me most about motherhood was when I became ill and disabled. I found that my kids didn’t love me or need me for all of those things I was doing for them or places I was carting them to… they just loved and needed ME. And I was still me. It was a beautiful revelation.

    Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  131. I think the thing that surprised me the most about motherhood was just how much common sense and your own instinct play a part. Reading books about parenting just made me crazy. And sometimes even the “experts” (e.g. doctors) don’t know what is best for your child.

  132. I’m not a mom but I haven’t given up the dream. It’s been my dream since age 12 and today is my 43rd birthday. As you’ve posted on Instagram over recent days, I’ve thought of so many moms in my life. I am in constant awe. There’s really no “off”. Ever. These friends aren’t perfect and they have hard days for sure but I’m always encouraged by their love and care for their children.

    As for my own mom? She was a surprise single mom when I turned 3. That was not her dream. Somehow she managed to finish college before me. All those years she was in night school (no online classes back then), I didn’t feel neglected. She surrounded me with godly families. Families she wanted me to look up to. Marriages centered on Christ. Men leading families in the church. I do not know how she worked full time and was a full-time mom. I really have no idea. I guess she had no choice. My admiration for her grows every year.

    Lisa-Jo, I’d love to get these lets and your book and give to friends! Moms are amazing!

  133. When I lost my mother, I realized, for the first time, what a tremendous impact she had on my life. I had been taking lessons she taught me and molding them into new lessons for raising my kids. I took advice she gave me and added to it to advise my kids. I blended my life experience with those life experiences she had shared to make better, wiser decisions. Most of all, I took her beautiful love, added all of my love and gave it freely.

  134. What hasn’t surprised me about motherhood?! 🙂

    I think I really knew what it meant to love well but once I had children, everything I knew about love was blown wide open — deepened and challenged, refined and renewed. I don’t think I really comprehended love until I became a mom.

  135. How much your kids can be tiny reflections of yourself – for better or for worse – has really surprised me. Oh, and how quickly they can dump out five cereal boxes on the living room floor 🙂

  136. I am amused that so many of the things my mom told me when I was growing and I didn’t believe, I now find to be so true.

  137. I think the most surprisingly wonderful thing about my mum is how sacrificial she’s been. If ever I had a problem and she thought she could do anything to help, she’d be there. She’s just had all the treatment for breast cancer last year and had the all-clear a couple of weeks ago, and we’re so glad.

  138. There have been many surprises in my motherhood journey,but none greater than the fact that my kids really are (aside from God) my life’s greatest teachers. God has used them to teach me so many lessons about Him, myself, and life in general along the way. I’m so very grateful for them.

  139. My comment my be different, but my InCourage Group had a conversation not long ago about being a “spiritual mother”. We are all single in this group and most of us do not have kids. There have been lots of children in my life. My best friend’s children didn’t realize that I wasn’t their ACTUAL “Aunt” until they were almost teenagers. 🙂 What has surprised me about “spiritual motherhood” is how much I can love a child that is not my own. And how much they can love me just because I have always “been there.” One of those kids I mentioned above recently got married. Yes I said married. I have known her since she was 15 minutes old. Just a few weeks before her wedding she said this to me “you’ve always been part of my life…and you didn’t have to be…you have been my mom’s friend for years…but you have been my friends since I was born…” What surprises me about motherhood…it’s not always about being a mother. I am so grateful for my “spiritual children”. The don’t have to love me and keep me in the lives…they want to. I am blessed.

  140. I have two grown children. If I would have really understood how short the time is that they are small I would have had more. I would encourage all the mothers with young children to cherish each day as childhood truly does pass in the blink of an eye.

  141. One thing that I’ve learned as a mother that I never anticipated is that there really isn’t time to do everything, so not sweating the small stuff is so important. Grab the “moments” and make them count; i.e., spilled flour becomes an opportunity for a kitchen snow storm. What’s a little bit of cleanup!

  142. The one thing that has surprised me about motherhood is how it is a picture of grace. The grace that I both have to and get to show to my kids and the grace shown to me. It’s all about giving and receiving grace that makes being a mama doable.

  143. One thing that surprised me is the guilt by comparison that comes with motherhood. It’s been a constant battle to stay focused on the eternal rather than the temporal when it comes to motherhood. It’s easy to get caught up the in many methodologies of parenting. By God’s grace, I have mothers around me to encourage and remind me about what matters at the end of the day. Love God and Love others. My eyes should be continually fixed on Christ first…not on what I’m doing or not doing as a mama. It’s tough job, but I LOVE being a mommy.

  144. Being a Mom has taught me about the consistency of the love of Jesus… you can love and love your precious baby with your whole heart and they love you right back… they start to be independent and your love grows while you watch them struggle because they have a case of “I can do it myself”… and then they become teenagers and you still love them completely even though they rebel and mostly want as little as possible to do with you. (How often do WE do that to our Heavenly Father??) I didn’t understand it fully until recently. Thank you, Jesus, for your wisdom and grace!

  145. I was surprised by the rawness of it all, my emotions seemed to be exposed nerve endings, and still today with grown up women as my daughters I still feel the depth of love and the vunerability of being real with them.

  146. Everything! The love, the humbling, the intensity, the challenge. I thought I knew what it would be like, but I had a lot to learn (and still do!).

  147. Surprised how much love and joy you can have one minute with your child and then how easy it is to lose that and become utterly frustrated with them.

  148. I always knew I wanted to be a mother, mom, mommy. Alas, that never became my reality and I have been content in who God has called me to be. However, as I enter my late 50’s my life has been graced with the gift of a young woman, soon to be mom, and her husband who have accepted me into their lives as, shall I express it this way, an adjunct mom and soon to be grandma. These young people have parents of their own who love them and support them, but they have room in their hearts and lives for me to share in this adventure. I can’t tell you how my heart sings and rejoices as I am graced by God and this gift that I thought would never be mine.

  149. Surprised?? Yes every step of motherhood comes with surprises, abounding joy, brave lessons and unlimitless love. What I learned as an adult recently is that no mater your age-you never stop needing and wanting your mom. Treasure the time, bless each other, share all of your mother daughter lessons with your own children. Thank you for a book that savors motherhood for what it is and what it can be!

  150. One thing about motherhood that has surprised me is the severity of it – the incredible highs and the incredible lows (as my 3yo is screaming in her bed).

  151. The thing that surprised me the most about motherhood is how much fun it is and how much patience I have that I didn’t know I had. New revelations every day!

  152. I am not yet a mom but hope to be like mine! I am starting to sound like my momma more and more (especially with my students) but I can only hope I will mirror her in many other ways with my own kiddos someday.

  153. realizing these things I do for my babies my mom also did for me. …reminding myself that my mother loved me as much as I love these babies.

  154. One thing that surprises me about my mom is how selfless and giving she is and always has been. I hope to be just like her as I grow up with my kids!

  155. Thank you so much for the trailer. As I care for a infant whose mother is in prison I will replay it over and over in my mind.

  156. I’ve been told several times by a mom of grown children… “God gives you the children who will grow you the most”. And it is a humbling truth! It is a beautiful mess… So hard, so exhausting, but to see it through Jesus, so humbling and beautiful to realize that God knows my yucky parts and still sees me worthy enough to not only be His daughter, but to trust me to raise these little blessings.
    Nobody shares the hard parts of raising children, esp. raising them for the Kingdom. I could’ve used more of that from the beginning. But then again, maybe that was because I need to draw to Christ instead. So thankful for God fulfilling the “desires of my heart”!

  157. I was surprised by how much i realized my mother was correct all those years ago! LOL Until you have children of your own, you never realize all that moms do behind the scenes that no one ever realizes. 🙂

  158. The most surprising of all is how quickly the days turn into years and I feel like I blinked my eyes and my babies were grown but even so, once a Mom, always a Mom and I am so very blessed for it! Best job ever.

  159. I was surprised by just how hard motherhood could be. The daily pouring out of self was something I just wasn’t prepared for! Yet for all the pouring out, there’s so, so, so much filling up!

    There’s nothing else so exhausting and exhilarating at the same time!

  160. Something that has surprised me having my little’s is how much more outgoing I am. I’m more courageous to speak out and be myself! I never feel like I have to be someone I’m not. They speak to my heart so much more than I feel like I do for them.

  161. I am constantly amazed at my “secret stash” of love I have for my little boy. Why do I call it secret?! Because the days when you think your child could not be any more challenging than he already is, the days when you question why you’re putting yourself through this ” self destructive, self abandonment” mode because of your child, that’s when THAT LOVE comes through, a love you didn’t know you have in you, a love so strong and sacrificial that takes you by surprise, and you breathe again… 🙂

  162. The one thing that has amazed me most about being a mom is how much it effects every relationship, decision, and every part of your life in an unexplainable way. As I think about my love for my girls, it is so hard to imagine that anyone could love anyone more than I adore them. However, God loves us even more than that! When I think about the way I worry about my children every second of everyday and how much I want them to love me and enjoy spending time with me, I can’t help but think about my own relationship with Christ. He wants the same from his children.

  163. What has surprised me about being a mom is how no matter what comes up, no matter how exhausted, no matter how empty I feel, God always fills me with the strength to do the task at hand. I used to think it was all me doing it on my own, but when I take a look back I realize- God was there all along encouraging me and helping through so much. My love overflows for my children, I never run out- it is truly amazing!

  164. As a mom of 3 littles under 6 years old, I’ve had to learn through prayer and daily growth to be forgiving, patient, intentional with my time, and say I’m sorry when I’ve failed as a mom. Being a SAHM was something I’ve never known, so there are countless times I’ve doubted myself as a parent. But God is good in His word to encourage, direct, and give us friends to do life with, and authentic authors to help us with this gift of parenting. thank you for this opportunity!

  165. I never wanted kids. They made me nervous but my mom always said its different when their your own. I was almost 30 when I got the best surprise ever. Turns out my mom was right!! My son lights up every day & my life would have missed so much meaning & color without him. He is my biggest blessing. He makes me laugh & motivates me every day!

  166. there are times I burst into tears because of the love I feel for my son, and I thank God for him, daily, Jacob has been my Godsend. We were unable to conceive and went thru a bit of the fertility treatments, but decided to adopt rather than spend more money on a “try”, Jacob came from S. Korea at 3 months old, I came down with Guillain Barre syndrome and was paralyzed from the neck down and from the left side of my face 7 weeks later, had to spend 3 months 100 miles away from our sweet long-awaited baby. We both learned to walk at the same time. not quite a year later, My Mom had an aneurism and passed away suddenly. I was heart broken and so lost. If I didn’t have Jacob to ground me, I don’t know what I would have done, and Jacob has been my ground thru more family sadness. My Dad came and lived with us for almost 5 years, before he passed away from chronic lung and heart illness. Having him with us to watch Jacob grow was a gift from God too. Jacob is my everything and always will be my centre of the universe. I am truly Blessed and I know both my Mom and Dad are helping us from up above. Prayerful hugs sent to you and yours.

  167. I just joined the “Mom Club” 3 weeks ago by giving birth to my precious little girl. I am surprised with how much I love her just in this short amount of time and how it feels like she’s been a part of our little family for forever!

  168. First; my mother had faith like I could never fathom. she suddenly lost a son when he was only 17 years old, she had to sit in a hospital with her three mostly grown daughters and agree that there was no hope left or her boy except the hope we have in Jesus. I would not be so strong as a mother as she was or as I was able to be as a sister.
    Second; I now mother four (with one on the way-shh! We haven’t told the others yet!) in a blended family, what has most surprised me is how much I fail. I mess up on the daily, there has yet to be a day in six years when I go to bed thinking, “Yes! Perfect!” I used to be really good at my job, and now as I homeschool and momma and try to remember who the heck I was when my husband fell in love with me…well, I’m not so good at this job of momma-ing. The surprise though, is in how every day the children come upstairs and its as if all my mistakes have been erased from their memories. Even the teenagers seem to have limitless forgiveness for my shortcomings. This blessing of unconditional love in my biggest failures has been a blessed surprise that I do not take for granted.
    I’d love a copy of this book, definitely not in this mommas budget, but I’m sure I can borrow a copy from the local library soon if I don’t win!

  169. First of all I would like to say I can’t wait to read the book. I read the 3 chapters you made available. thanks so much. Also my ministry is Daily Grace so to win a daily grace tea set would be awesome. I have 3 granddaughters who insist on having tea-parties.
    The thing about my mom that never stopped amazing me was her unshakable strength. No matter what we had to face or what challenge presented itself, she would always say to me “Well, what do we need to? Let’s get it done!” She had more strength than anyone I know and she taught me so much about being a mom. Our time was cut short. I lost her when she was just 60 & there was still so much for her to teach me. She was my greatest treasure in life.

  170. It’s been surprise after surprise, lesson upon lesson for me!! I’m constantly amazed at how much love I have for the little people God has gifted to me. And, how quickly that love can turn to frustration when they aren’t listening!! Mostly, I am amazed at how God uses this journey called Motherhood to teach me more about Him and His love for me and all His children.

  171. My mother tells me I used to say ” I can’t wait I have kids”. And now that I am a mother I often try to think back to those times I told that to my mom, and I don’t remember EVER saying that. LoL it’s DEFINATELY been a journey!

  172. I have to say what surprised me the most was the absolute gripping fear that overtook me the moment I found out I was going to be a mother. I knew my heart would grow and love my child unconditionally but the fear snuck in and gripped my heart and mind to where I became a crazy sycotic mom. Everything was questioned at least three times before a decision was made. He could never be out of my sight. He is now 8 and the fear has subsided mostly and he is a normal and active boy.

  173. Since becoming a mom, I am surprised that I can love two tiny humans so much. I didn’t think my heart could love that much. I also learned just how much my mother loves me.

  174. Motherhood has been one big surprise….I guess the biggest surprise has been how hard it is, but the blessings are unbelievable!! Also, I can’t believe how fast it goes by!!

  175. I’ve been surprised by the extreme ups and downs of the experience. These past 3 1/2 years have tested me like nothing else. Being a mother is so so hard. This past year, in particular, has been horribly hard. But each day God picks me up and gives me the grace to keep on going. For as hard as it is, there’s nothing like my daughter’s hug in the morning and my son’s little laugh. They’re music to my heart and the encouragement to keep going.

  176. I always knew I loved children but I never knew how much it would challenge me and ultimately bring me closer to god. Waves of mercy waves of grace

  177. One of the biggest surprises of being a mother is that I was able to raise 2 children, ages 2 & 4, as a single mom. They turned out pretty good I might add. They both went to college and now my daughter has a 1 year old daughter of her own. Being a single parent wasn’t what I had in mind when I got married and decided to have children but I made the best of it and got through.

  178. After struggling with infertility for many years, just after accepting that we were going to be childless, my husband and I were asked if we wanted to adopt. Our son was born 12 days ago. I have no clue what I’m doing but couldn’t be more excited!

  179. Mothering is one of the most joy filled-and heartbreaking experiences. I never knew my heart could be so full of joy one moment because of the love that overflowed for my child, then turn around and have my heart shattered because of that same love. It’s an upside-down kind of being. Without prayer or knowing He holds each and every moment I couldn’t face another day. But knowing He has it all in His plan makes my heart hope. ( Jeremiah 29:11)

  180. I have been surprised by the intensity of mothering. How deep my love and joy are in my two little boys, but also how intense my anger and sadness can be. It’s like my emotional dial is always turned up.

  181. I, too, struggle with time-selfishness and being quick to anger. I was definitely surprised by how HARD motherhood can be, and also how VERY different boys are from girls!! It’s neat how learning and accepting those things gives you the freedom to relax and just have fun with it all. 🙂

  182. Now that I’m almost 30, I see my mom for more of who she is. She is more human with more imperfections to me now that I can recognize each one. This is hard realizing this, because it requires me to extend her more grace especially whenever I’m around her. That being said, she is and was a wonderful mother, and I’m thankful for er presence in my life.

  183. Surprised by the intense love I have for my children and grandchildren! And it helps me understand better the love that God has for us – His children…but His love is even greater than ours, as mothers….amazing!

  184. My mom just lost her mom two weeks ago. I’m grieving the loss of my grandma but she’s grieving the loss of her mother. I love that we have a great friendship as adults…and hope my boys and I will have that kind I friendship forever too!

  185. I lost my precious mother three weeks ago to cancer. She taught me that unconditional love is part of being a mom.

  186. I think it’s in my mom’s imperfect moments that she surprises me the most… I know this has to sound funny, but I’m serious! It’s like she becomes more human-like! Hahaha. What can I say? I have a good mom, even though she’s not ALWAYS perfect. 🙂

  187. I was surprised by how high the high points are and how low the low points can be.

  188. To the team at incourage –
    Thank you for sharing this post and this book. If I don’t win, I am going to buy a copy to read for myself and then hopefully to pass along to my mother and sister (who is a single mom of a 3-year-old).

    To be honest, motherhood baffles me. It must be because I have not experienced it yet, but I have no idea how each mother does it. Each journey is different, but the cost is the same. You lose control over your time, your body, sometimes your reputation, or a career…

    I am shocked to see the strength in my own mother. Over and over and over again. She became pregnant before marriage, and gave the child up for adoption. You can imagine everyone’s surprise when she ended up marrying the father (who was an atheist) a couple years later. That man, who is my dad, ended up becoming a Christian and is now such a strong man of God and great father figure. My mom gave up her career as an artist to be a stay-at-home mom, something she swore she’d never do, but something she claims is much better than any worldy/lonely recognition… And that child? Surprised again. My sister Lindsay contacted us 7 years ago and is now a huge part of our lives. She was surprised by motherhood, and became pregnant long before her expected time, and is now raising a child as a single mom. Having a relationship with Lindsay is a surprise blessing to my whole family, something that only exists bc of my moms courage to choose motherhood in an unconventional, life-giving way. I can only hope I have the same amount of courage to face each day of motherhood when the time comes. Until then, I am trying to encourage my mother for committing her life to this. I am so thankful for her example, love and strength.

  189. What surprises me most about my mum, or what really amazes me, is how much my mum will love me despite the many times I screw up. She’ll shout at me when I leave my room messy, but when I screw up big time, she’ll be there to listen with open arms and no judgement. Its kinda reverse order, but i prefer it that way. I don’t know how she handles 3 demanding kids, but it must be through God’s strength. And I’m so thankful for all the sacrifices she makes for our benefits. thanks mum <3

  190. Everything about being a mom surprised me.

    One way that motherhood changed me was in how I saw God. I always viewed Him as my Savior and Lord, but after I had children, I began to see Him as my FATHER. And everything in the Bible I saw thru His love for me as a FATHER. Totally changed my perspective when I saw how much and how carefully He loves me…and how everything He does is so intentional and for my good. Just like a parent.

    Just like me.

  191. How easy and quickly my kids forgive me. And how often I have to say I’m sorry.

  192. I am surprised how much my children make me pause in life and see things slowly. Sweet joy!

  193. The reality that the pages of the calendar, and the seasons of my two daughters’ lives were going to “fly” were true. The biggest surprise is that they continue to love their Mommy ” the whole world and back”. Thank you Jesus.

  194. A word about motherhood or about my mother. Hmmm. How about both. My motherhood journey began at 15. Unplanned, undesired, unbelievably holy. Ten years later, I am still pregnant, our fifth, and I just entered a new season. My own mother was brought Home to be with The Lord February 25th. Sometimes, between my own brood of children and the emptiness and soul racking pain of not having my own Mom to drink coffee with, I can’t breathe. Sometimes, all I can do is praise so deep that I feel the Kingdom of God shifting. Please, randomly pick my post. I will read and share your book and embrace tea time with all five of our kiddos daily. Ok. Maybe not daily but at the very least weekly. A beautiful tradition. Thanks Lisa Jo. Hope to hear from you real soon!!!!!!!

  195. I have been surprised at how very different boys and girls are. I had my daughter first and was feeling like I’d just begun to get a handle on the whole parenting thing by the time my son was born. It felt like starting all over again as a new parent! They are each amazing (and challenging!) in such vastly different ways.

  196. I have been surprised by how many times my “nevers” and “nos” have come to pass! I vowed I would not homeschool when my eldest daughter. She’s now a Junoir who has been taught at home since she was 4. I said my girls would not continue in ballet once they advanced to evening classes. We now have ballet classes three evenings a week. I even said we would wait until our current cat passes on (many years from now!) before getting another cat. We gave my middle daughter a kitten for Christmas. Motherhood has a way of stretching me and turning my preconceived ideas upside down. And my life is far richer for it!

  197. When you’re given a venue to offer up your opinion it’s difficult to want to hand the floor over to a cliche. That said, I have to say that the most surprising aspect of becoming a mother has been the blessing behind it all.

    I know that, as mothers, we’re supposed to say we are blessed by our children. It seems like a given. And in all honesty, I’ve always felt truly blessed to be their mother. However, in the last year the blessing has grown exponentially as God allowed me to see something I hadn’t seen before.

    Spiritual growth.

    Through the relationship I have with my children – raising them, playing with them, teaching them – I have been able to reflect on these years and see how very responsible they are for my spiritual growth. They’ve taught me more about honesty than I could learn from anyone else. They’ve taught me patience (heaven help them). They’ve taught me how to love through heartache. They’ve taught me how to repriotize so that I truly understand what’s most important. They’ve shown me that insecurities are a waste of time (as hard as that one is to overcome). Their innocence and love for God are something I could’ve never prepared myself for.

    As I mentally flip back through the events of the last year, of bringing a fourth child into this world, I can say without hesitation that life is busy. Life is overwhelming. But life, now, is so much less exhausting due to their influence on me to draw near to Christ.

    Yes. I will say that I am grateful for motherhood as I enjoy staying busy training up children in the way they should go. But I am also surprised by motherhood in that they are training me up, as well.

  198. My mom’s endurance, fortitude, and courage never cease to astound me. She has treated the bumps in life’s road like springboards that redirect her gaze upward and push her that much closer to God. The depth of her faith inspires me, and her endurance and patience with me have been so beautiful, all the way from the crazy years when she had a handful of kids under age 4 running around the house to the late-night phone calls during my college years. I’m so blessed to have a godly mom.

  199. I was surprised to learn that at times my children actually listened to me and followed my advice. It may not have been at the moment I gave it, but they actually utilized some of the wisdom I shared. So all the nagging, fussing, obsessing, hovering, unsolicited advice (as my 21 year old daughter would call it) paid off. In the end, it was Just me being a protective and caring mom trying to prepare my children for life. They are still have a long way to go, grow, and learn and I will be there with them all they way.

  200. I have to say that the one thing that surprised me about motherhood is how humbling and glorious it is all at the same time. The things that my kids do that bring me to my knees and the things they do that make me laugh right out loud reveal the grace and joy of my great God. I really didn’t realize what a gift each day truly is, until I became a mom. Blessings to you and the success of your book! I look forward to reading it!

  201. I have 4 children. 2 boys and 2 girls. I was surprised by manageable it was to have a larger family. There is always a lot going on that you have to keep track of, but it is such a blessing to have each of my kids in our family! I can’t imagine life without them!

  202. I am continually surprised at how much elbow grease and patience it takes! I never knew what it meant to pray without ceasing until I had children.

  203. I knew God would use my kids to mold me….I just didn’t realize to what extent. I am humbled!

  204. I was surprised to find that I could love another as much as I love my husband. I also honestly thought being a mommy would be so easy. I would not change the craziness of mommyhood for anything. My cup runneth over!

  205. The thing that has surprised me the most about motherhood is that it doesn’t get easier the older the kids get and how easy it is to feel like a failure.

  206. The day I realized how important my roll at home was and how each child is a blessing not a burden; was the best day of my life! I grew up thinking that staying at home was for lazy women and having kids was a chore. But God changed my way thinking!!! Praise God!! He told me how I was a servant to him by raising his warriors for his kigdom. How the world wants us to believe that children are a burden but how He wants us to know that in FACT they are living blessings. I thought I was only going to have one child but after God changed my heart he blessed us with four wounderful kids. I feel honored today to have theses four kids with me and I try to be the best mom I can be for His glory. I believe that they are our spears that will go into the world to defeat evil with the love of christ in their hearts. I’m greateful to know people who encourage others to keep on going in this quest called motherhood. God bless you- Nadine

  207. One of the many things that has surprised me most is the amazing amount of love a mother can have for her children. My own mother is not a well person and seems incapable of having maternal affections. Thanks to Jesus, my awesome hubby and lots of other awesome ladies showing me how a true mother acts, I parent my children very differently and love them with my whole heart. Love this journey called mothering!

  208. What surprised me about motherhood was the bond that formed, so quickly as my babies formed in my womb. What surprised me was the love, the adoration and all the hopes I had for these tiny lives, even before their birth. What perhaps surprised me most was that those precious babies, those innocent beings I loved so dearly, would never make it out of my womb to hold my hand, but that they would leave my womb with wings, straight into the gates of heaven. What surprises me is that after 4 losses, it can still hurt so deeply. Being a parent, a mother… People tell you how much you’ll love your child but until you truly experience it, you’ll never know the depth of love you hold for the babies who only you could touch.

  209. The thing that has surprised me most about my motherhood journey is that I am a mother to both biological and adopted children. I always saw myself having three or four biological children…but God had other plans. After our second child passed away from a genetic disease we decided to pursue adoption to grow our family. What an incredible blessing!!!!

  210. I was surprised that I was even able to conceive. For years and years, I thought I was barren. I am currently carrying a precious 15 week miracle. I am beyond blessed!

  211. Totally surprised at how much I am loving the pre-teen/teen years. I was terrified when my stepson started middle school and this has turned out to be some of the best years. I love is sense of humor and the real, honest conversations we have.

  212. Biggest surprise about motherhood for me, having 3 of my for children in 1993, 1995 and 1996. Last 2…11 months apart. That God found me trustworthy to raise up 4 of His warriors, and the last 2 11 months apart was a huge surprise! However, God is awesome bc my children and I have one heck of a testimony that looked like God made a huge mistake but as is always the case He is faithful and is showing me just how perfect my children and I fit perfectly together and perfectly into His plan fully showing His Power Wisdom And Love! I so often cry out to Him David’s prayer “Who am I and what is my family that you have brought us this far?” I pay we each get to tell or stories to many one day and glorify God ALL THE MORE!!!

  213. The thing that surprised me is the young man my son has become. Never in a million years would I have guessed that he would bike halfway across the U.S. alone, travel to India and France (twice), and join the Peace Corps, where he would serve in a remote village in Africa, teaching high school students physics and math in French, establish a community library and garden, run a half-marathon, start a national spelling bee. People say he is who he is because of his father and I, but we would never do the things he’s done. I am amazed and so proud.

  214. I am surprised by the incredible depth of love we can have for one another. My home growing up was not like that, and although we have our fair share of mess-ups here we always want to come back to one another. The children want to be with mom and dad and the parents look for ways to give their best to the kids. My heart is finally full.

  215. I’ts been said… “God gives you the children who will grow you the most”. And it is a humbling truth! It is wonderful to share my “Mom” journey with younger Moms. It was very trying but I always knew Jesus loved me as His child and was walking with me and trusting me to raise His other blessing my daughter!

  216. I was terrified to become a mother. I delayed motherhood on purpose before my first child. A number of things amazed me about the experience. First, I could not believe what my body was doing and taking over with instincts in the delivery room that I had no idea I possessed. Gods design of the female body to work this way humbled me. Second, I would be humbled again in the weeks to come as I stare at my son, intimately admiring him with tremendous love and adoration for the little being suckling in my arms. In those moments I learned the truth of Gods love for his children. Third, when I was blessed with a second child, a daughter, I discovered that the light inside these wonderful beings was magic and there was nothing to really be afraid of other than losing my heart forever in their existence for as long as I have them. Now that my children are entering teen years there are abundantly more things motherhood teaches me everyday. I do pray fervently in constant conversation with God about doing the right things to guide his and my creation. I experienced God from the inside out through motherhood. That is what surprises me most. I thought I had a good handle on my relationship with God before children and figured out that I had only glimpsed the surface of what was a much deeper plan for my life with Him and my children in it.

  217. The thing that has surprised me about motherhood is the way God plans and uses my children to teach me, to deliver me from old bad habits, to make me stretch, and just plain smile. Through the challenges I’ve been forced to grow closer to Him and He has shown me He will never leave me nor forsake me. We are not in this journey alone!

  218. One thing that, now that I am grown up, is that I can not recall my mother rejecting me or asking for her own space once. Not once has she raised her voice towards me, or wanted me to go away. I am not saying that it is wrong for a mom to ask her child to give her some space, not at all. This is just something about my mom that I am amazed about and appreciative of. Especially as an adult, knowing by experience how easy it is for me to get impatient.

  219. my mom passed away 12 years ago. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. I am just like her!

  220. That I need God! I’ve discovered such treasure in being a stay at home mom because of my walk with God and the joys of serving my family. Nothing compares to any other type of work for me.

  221. I think after a became a mom I’m a better person. Some days are not easy but we have to believe and trust in God to do our work. He will lead and support us in all situations. I love being a mom and I don’t even remember how was my life before motherhood.

  222. I was surprised by motherhood when my firstborn was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. I think we go into motherhood with an idea of what that looks like and how that will play itself out ie; goals & aspirations for our children before they are even placed in our arms. And what I didn’t see at the time, is that the Lore had been preparing my heart and equipping me just so, so as to be the best mama I could be to my sweet son. God has taught me so much through him. Much about grace, love, patience, and how God knows what we need before we even know we do. My son is a precious gift from above and I am beyond thankful for the sweet surprise that is him.

  223. The most surprising thing for me has been the love I have for each of my kids…….Wow, I truly would do anything for them!

  224. No matter what, Motherhood is the highest calling from God. What an honor to be a mom.

  225. As a mom to 8 people ranging in ages from 6 through 27, I was surprised…..and continue to be…..at how much God uses my kids to reach and teach me. Those “teaching moments” become moments when as I am speaking to one of my children, my Heavenly Father is speaking to me.

  226. I was surprised by how much of God I see in the mundane, everyday things. I love it!

  227. Becoming a mother has made me complete. The harried days, the scary days, the precious, timeless moments of sweet, utter contentment. I am eternally grateful for the entire journey of motherhood, and even in my humanness laden with mistakes, my kids KNOW they are LOVED.

  228. The responsibility of a mother does not end when your child leaves the nest. Perhaps it is only ramping up. It is a time when the verse “Casting all your care on Him because He careth for you” is the only thing you have hope in. You can do nothing else but cast your care on Him.

  229. I was and am still surprised by the love I have for my child and how it changed me and my priorities on life. Instead of caring so much about success in my carreer. All I want is for my child to grow up and love The Lord and remember mommy and daddy throughout her years growing up. And soon his and her years as we prepare for our son to join our family in September.

  230. I am constantly surprised at how sweet, smart & funny my daughter is… I’m also amazed by her big heart & compassion for others! 🙂

  231. What surprises me about my mom is how strong she is despite being a single mother. It really is amazing and all I can say is that that’s the Lord within her.

    Looks like a great book, btw!

  232. Grace…the overwhelming reality of grace that we give our children no matter what they have done. My children (which are 8) have taught me a whole lot about my Papa’s grace and unconditional love. Motherhood has taught me to slow down and enjoy life with all it’s ups and downs, joys and sorrows… I have come to pause and embrace the piles of laundry, sink full to the brim with dishes that bare witness to little nourished bellies, small shaped hand-prints on the walls tell stories of siblings that are many, one little sock with no match at the end of the laundry basket, 2 ounces of juice left in the container. These little moments of life that to some may seem ordinary, but in my life, they are mine and they are sacred. For it is in these moments that I see the face and hand of God. These are the moments that one day will lie with me when my time has ended and my life is lowered to rest in the ground awaiting the presence of God, but through the skill of my pen left within journals piled high, it is my way of giving my children memories unforgotten.

  233. I’d say the number one thing that surprised me about motherhood is how much my own experience (as a child) would weigh into my perspective as a mom. The empathy and compassion is overwhelming and I have to guard myself against protecting them from dangers that aren’t part of their experience. For instance, I had BAD experiences with daycare and babysitters, so I have been very guarded & suspicious of the people who care for my kids. It’s a daily decision to overcome that, trying to achieve a cautious optimism.

  234. I love being a mom but I am often surprised by how much all this loving leaves me exhausted at the end of the day still. . . I think its so much harder to parent teens than toddlers and babies and I thought by now I would be doing less not more. 🙂 look forward to reading your book and would love to have tea with my daughter and grand bb.

  235. One thing about motherhood that has surprised me, is how you can be a mom figure to people even when you are not a mom. My own mom told me once, when I asked if she was disappointed that I did not have any children, “Oh, you have plenty of children, they just all have different mothers.” There is much truth in that statement, considering she has a bird’s eye view into my life and relationships.

  236. I am surprised by how fast time passes once you have children. My mom warned me, and she was right. I try to remind myself to slow down and enjoy these days because they pass by and are gone forever.

  237. What has surprised me the most about motherhood is how difficult it really is. I’m always “on the clock”. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but man, it’s difficult to have someone completely dependent upon you

  238. Motherhood taught me so much about the inner workings of my mom. I find that I have a bigger heart for her and the way I treated her as a teenager now that I’m a mom. I couldn’t imagine my daughter talking to me the way I used to talk to her. Motherhood makes you tough!

  239. My children are now 17, 19, 20 and 22. I still make them an Easter Basket and leave them a Valentine treat…throw in a load of their clothes and wait for a goodnight I love you mom text! I dont think I fully realized the concept that motherhood is forever…and ever…until now. Your kids dont ever really grow up … and neither does the mom! : )

  240. I have been most surprised by the sense of “complete” that my children have brought to my life. Back in the days when I was single and/or dating, I looked to my friends, my boyfriends, for support. It’s hard to admit it (especially because I did have a pretty strong faith life and relationship with God), but they gave my life meaning. If I didn’t have something to do or someone to see or be seen with, I felt that somehow my life was lacking. As an introvert by nature, I did enjoy solitude, but only when it was by choice. Otherwise, it just felt lonely. I associated loneliness with meaninglessness, as if my life didn’t matter and no one cared about me when I was alone. Having children gave my life a sense of meaning and purpose that I never expected. They filled me up with love and peace. They taught me how to love in a way that is probably a lot closer to how God loves (although not perfect in the way God’s love is, but still closer). They banished loneliness from my life (with a sledgehammer, ha!) and ushered in fullness. No longer do I need to feel the support of a social network. No longer does it matter whether I have plans for the weeknights and weekends. I don’t need them. I have my children, who I love to the point of bursting. In having them, I let go of my fear of meaninglessness in favor of love. What a surprise! Of course, I have also been surprised by how much work it is and how exhausting and exasperating it can be, but I think I expected those things to some extent. I didn’t expect that my outside world and social network would cease to matter and yet I would be so okay with it. Because my life has a bigger and more important purpose. Serving God and serving my husband and children. So much more glamourous than I ever expected!

  241. As a teen I thought my mom was weak in the way she would always yield to my dad. Motherhood, my own marriage and my relationship with Christ enabled me to see my mother’s strength in her quiet humbleness. And in her declining years as she dealt with my dad’s death and alzheimer’s took over, her imprint in my heart and mind stands as the strongest, most Christ-like woman my life has known.

  242. I’m constantly surprised by how many questions come out of small children’s’ mouths!! How, when, why, where and on and on and on…!

  243. Life isn’t any easier now that my kids are grown and trying to make it on their own. One always worries are they safe, making good decisions and such. I have to let them go and grow up and learn. I am learning what it is like an empty nester.

  244. I knew that I would love my child but it is not until you look at that face while she is sleeping or when she has a gorgeous smile on her face or she says something funny that you realize that somebody owns your heart!

  245. My daughter is 19 an amazing young women who it has been a blessing being apart of the process. I was surprised by the depth of emotions that I have felt and realizing thankfully since I lost my mom when I was 17 that it truly is an unconditional forever love. My daughter and I are very close as much as I’ve hated seeing her childhood years come to an end have struggled with letting go I am excited to see her spread her wings. I always wanted a house full of children but God had other plans. My now 3 year old son keeps me very busy. I am so thankful for the 2 children I have. I have been so blesses!

  246. One thing that surprised me about being a mom was how many times I got to say I love you. My heart could not hold back those words. I did not hear them growing up. Ever. But they are rich with meaning and emotion.

  247. I thing that ha surprised me about being a mom is year by year i Continue becoming someone new. The love and joy and frustration of being a mom opens parts of me I never knew existed or were possible. My son has helped me these past 9 years enjoy being a om with his smiles and laughter and super silly self. I didn’t have a relationship with my mom growing up but my son does with me and that brings me great joy and all the glory to God. One day at a time good or bad we will preserve holding hands and hugs.

  248. How much exhaustion at the end of the day can be fulfilling. Almost like I used up all that God gave me to serve my sweet babies and that is somehow enough.

  249. My mom was never a strong woman. She worked full time for a few years then went part time and took care of me, the youngest of 4. While I say she wasn’t strong she was in a quiet sort of way.

    She stuck with my father through many moves, job changes, and his alcoholism. She was there for us cooking meals, cleaning the house, etc. She showed me true love. My dad exhibited great love by taking care of mom for 2 years when she was bedridden with sundowner’s and dementia.

    Blessings 🙂

  250. I was surprised to know that the best mothers are the ones who are the weakest and can come before an all loving perfect God to ask to love like He does. Only then in my imperfect love admitted was perfect love available

  251. How, even at just 6 weeks pregnant, the love I feel for my baby is overwhelming! So blessed to be carrying this little gift, even with the nausea….the back aches and the sleepiness! 🙂

  252. My Mom lived the Proverbs 31 woman before us every day of our lives! I was blessed to have the greatest role model show me what it means to love God totally, love your family completely, and make sure every one you encounter knows about your Jesus. She didn’t push her faith on anyone but she always had a beautiful smile and wonderful personality that drew you in & made you want to know what she knew. Also, no man has EVER loved a woman like our Daddy loved our Mama!! Theirs was a love story for the ages! I have loved being a Mother – every stage – even through me having all kinds of orthopedic surgeries when they were little. My children will be 19 & 22 in the next 2 months. The Lord has blessed us immensely!

  253. I was surprised to find out how much motherhood was about me needing to grow and change and learn.

  254. I never realized how much I would learn about God and his covenant with us by being a mother. The ways God reveals Himself time and time again as I go about my day parenting is so full of love, grace, truth, conviction and forgiveness. I hope to be so intentional in these things that my kids will know Him to the fullest. Without him we are nothing and fail miserably. With Him we are more than conquerors through His strength alone. I too, have been surprised by motherhood!!

  255. I am not a mother yet. But I have a kind and loving mother. The thing that surprises me about motherhood is how selfless it can make you. Before having my two sisters and I, my mom had a career and a life. Not to say she did not have a life after we were born, but it was very different for her and my father once they had kids as many parents can attest to. My mother chose to give up her career so she could focus on raising us girls. They were by no means “well off”, but it was more important for them to be part of their children’s lives then to make money. Her and my father made many sacrifices along the way for us. I am so thankful to have such loving, selfless parents. I am looking forward to the day when I have a child or children who I will do anything for.

  256. Motherhood = unparalleled love. It made me finally realize how much God loves me. I understand now.

  257. One of the most surprising things about being a mother, for me, was: feeling particularly like I failed my kids and when I told my 7-yr-old daughter that I was sorry, she told me, without hesitation, “It’s okay, Mommy, I’ll always forgive you.” And, I can’t go without mentioning the overwhelming change in perspective when I got a better sense of maybe how God loves me, based on my realization of my fierce love for my children!

  258. The most amazing thing is finding that being a mother, while hard and often one big mess, brings me back to the knowledge that no matter what, I love and love more now and more deeply, authentically than I have ever loved before.

  259. I’m about to be a new mom and I’m so thankful that the Lord has blessed me with a godly Mother to look up to! I’m amazed at her patience and her unending love and see more and more how truly valuable those characteristics are to being a Mom! So thankful for her example!

  260. One of the things that surprised me about motherhood is even after my 20 year old daughter passed away how close I would continue to feel toward her. Knowing she is living on with the Lord and that she is now one of my biggest fans, is so comforting. The example our relationship provided has been a great help in how I respond to my other children.

  261. I am the girl that always wanted to be a mom more than anything else in the world. I would have to say that something that I learned was that I needed to have had my own identity besides “mom” because once they left home it was difficult starting over.

  262. God made my Mom for Me. God made Me for my Mom. And He made my Grandmother for the both of us. He has overflowed our cups with His grace. It was 11 years before the first grandchild was born. It was my miraculous daughter Logan. My Mom made arrangements with Grandmother, (who had been living alone for over a decadee) she prayed with her husband and subsequently made the move of all three of them from southern GA to Charlotte, NC. We live four miles from each other. My Grandmother awaits us in Heaven, but God fist blessed her with over a decade with her two greatgreanchildren (I was blessed with a son Dylan two years after Logan). We’ve been together through Mom’s breast cancer, she is now with me during my physical trial “thorn in my side”. God is Good. God knew we need to be or to have a Mom no matter for how long. Thank you God for my Mom, and for her Mom…..

  263. I’m surprised at how hard being a mom can be and all of the grace my children give me. I’m also surprised with how God is using my children to help me grow.

  264. My mother always told me that a mother’s heart is capable of loving all of her children just as fiercely as her first. When I was pregnant with my second son, I worried. Would I feel about him the way I felt about his older brother? Like many things, I was surprised to find that she was right. That feels miraculous to me. A mother’s heart isn’t divided between amongst her children.I think it becomes exponentially bigger!

  265. My son and daughter-in-law had never desired to have children. Imagine my surprise, and theirs, when last August they announced that she was pregnant. After a pregnancy fraught with diagnoses of the possibilities of illness/abnormalities/birth defects, our beautiful Quinn was born on March 19th. I gave my concerns and my worries to God during this tumultuous pregnancy. A very hard thing to do, and even harder not to take them back, because our first grandchild, my daughter’s son, was born still in 2010. But for once, I relied on God’s promise that it was going to be OKAY. His promises are true. I was relaxed for the last 3 months of the pregnancy, with the knowledge that God wasn’t promising that she was not going to have human-described flaws, but that HE would give us what we needed, if something was wrong. Faith provided me with a previously unknown peace. And I want to shout out to all, that our Quinn is healthy. And her parents are overjoyed with their unexpected gift. They are sharing a journey that they did not expect, nor think that they wanted. She’s beautiful. She’s loved. But most of all, she is the daughter of the one true King.

  266. I’m 15 years and 6 kids into motherhood :: some days I feel like I’m doing a bang-up job of it and some days I feel like I have no idea at all what I’m doing. It’s tons of work, but it is all worth it! Can’t wait to read your book! Thanks!

  267. That no matter how old I am and how old my children get I still have the ache of having to leave them after a visit. A mother is a mother for the rest of their lives. That job is a gift from God.

  268. One thing that surprised me about my mom was her amazing love for her family. I always knew she loved us but when I moved in with her with my husband and 2 daughters (6yo and 3yo) 14 years ago, I learned how deep that love was and how giving she was. She opened her home freely to us and made us feel so welcomed and loved…..never in the way….even with the busy-ness we brought to her home!! We were with her for 15 months and her welcoming heart never grew tired of us! My mom passed away 2 years ago……..I miss her terribly………but I am so thankful for the legacy of love she left for me.

  269. The ONE thing that surprises me about my mom is how She never gave up or gives up, despite everything she has voting against her! I am impressed by her courage, strength and bravery in all of her mothering.

    The ONE thing that has surprised me about mothering is how incredibly hard it is, but even more how the love for a child can get a person out of depression and anxiety faster than anything else I’ve seen!

    I love your descriptions of the book, and who it fits for. Just by reading the three first chapters I totally agree with all of your recommendations!

  270. What surprised me most about motherhood is the incredible joy that comes with having children!! Your heart just sort expands with more and more love the minute you see your son/daughter. I gave birth to my firstborn last October. And, even though he passed away several hours before he was born (at 41 weeks), I remember holding him afterwards and feeling the biggest burst of joy just in getting to see my son, Isaac, for the first time.
    Also realizing that whether we get the chance to raise our child or not, we women have such an amazing opportunity in being a vessel used to create an eternal soul for the glory of God’s kingdom. What a privilege!!

  271. One thing about motherhood that surprised me was how full-on it was. I worked in Childcare pre-kids but you could give them back at the end of the day, so wasn’t prepared for the 24hrness of the job of motherhood. Now nearly 16 years on of being a mum I would still say that it is very full-on but in a different way. As my Mum has said “Once you are a Mum, you never stop being a Mum”. However I wouldn’t swap motherhood for the world.

  272. I always wanted to be a mom, but the most surprising thing about motherhood for me is how much it HURTS. The love is so strong and fierce…and when they disobey or get hurt…my heart feel like it’s going to burst. The joy is proportionate to the pain…but being a mama is the hardest job in the world!