Jen Babakhan
About the Author

Jen Babakhan is an author living in California with her husband and two young sons. She is the author of Detoured: The Messy, Grace-Filled Journey From Working Professional to Stay-at-Home Mom. Jen is also a contributor for Reader’s Digest and Guideposts, and her work has been featured in various national...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. I am so sorry to hear about your mom. Sending you and your family big hugs today.

    May God mend your hearts and continue to fill you with joy.

    Love, Bomi.

  2. Wow! Such a God thing to show joy in the midst of hard! Thank you for sharing your pain & His victory thru you! Keep being defiant as you miss your mom, dear sister! The prayers for you & your family especially in the hard times will be like Aaron holding up Moses’ arms to keep the Lord’s banner raised so that the victory will be accomplished throughout your battle to find joy in the process of grief.

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss, it’s hard. I have a rose bush too, that I planted in our yard. It was my Dad’s, a tiny tea cup rose plant he was given by Eucharistic ministers that were visiting in the nursing home where he resided. It blooms beautifully every year; I know that is my Dad saying hi to me from heaven.

  4. Thank you for this. I’m coming up on 3 years of my mom’s passing and have written about my own grief, but there’s something oddly comforting to read how grief fills another daughter whose mom has gone. Grief is so personal, and so thank you for being so vulnerable. My mom had a green thumb like no other but I am OPPOSITE. I would love to honor her with something in the ground but alas, it would probably not survive my care. Maybe one day I’ll give it a try and see if the Lord will assist me. Merry Christmas-Kellie

    • Yes, Kellie- it is oddly comforting to know we aren’t alone in missing our moms and all that comes with it. Sending you a hug from someone who gets it. Merry Christmas, friend.

  5. Thank you. I lost my mother just a few months ago after 15 months of not being allowed in the assisted living facility. This “new reality ” is so hard to explain. Thank you for your words.

  6. So sorry to hear of your loss. And I understand that heaviness you carry in your chest. But making that choice to find joy from a personal experience is one of the best things I have done for myself and my children. Seeing it as an act of defiance is so empowering. I thank you for that.

  7. Please accept my condolences on the loss of your mom. Planting rose bushes and writing such a poignant article is such a touching tribute to your mom. As I read your piece, I thought of the JOY she is experiencing in heaven then the practical application for me to push through life’s circumstances and find joy in God’s gifts to me here on earth. Very touching and tender. Thank you. May the God of all comfort, comfort you and your family as only He can during times of loss and grief.

  8. I too am so sorry that your mom is no longer with you. To lose her as the pandemic was beginning had to be especially hard. I SO appreciate your attitude of defiant joy! Reminds me of Nehemiah 8:10–“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” As we take up the challenge to find joy in the midst of struggle, we also discover strength of spirit. Joy increases as we delight in Him!

  9. What a humbling feeling it is to know that we are not alone in the pain and the emptiness that we feel at the loss of our moms, the challenges that we face at this moment and finding the strength to choose joy. God provides us with Faith. Faith over fear.

  10. I am so sorry for your loss Jen, especially at this time when everything is so unpredictable. I also live in CA & everything is so difficult to navigate. Losing your Mom as I had to endure back in ’03 is unbearable. My Mom was not a Christian & the pain was so intense. My brother is in bad shape now with diabetes along with other health issues. I try to read from the Psalms to him & want to be brave to share more (I’m from a Jewish family) but also don’t want to upset him during this time.

    I’m glad your rose bushes are doing well. I have over 30 in my backyard & live in the Central Coast of CA where it can be pretty hot during the summer. Keep them watered & you’ll have roses to bring into your home to remind you of your sweet Momma!

    Lord bless you Jen & your family during the Christmas season & going into the New Year!

    • Thank you for your kind words, Barbara. I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your mom, and now the illness of your brother. Praying for you both, as you listen to His guiding while walking your brother through this difficult time.

  11. Jen,

    Sweet sister so sorry for the loss of your mom especially during the pandemic. Asking God to send comfort & peace to your soul. Joy is a feeling of great pleasure & happiness. That is in short supply right now. There is so much more sadness & stress in the world these days. It seems as though everyone & everything is out to steal our joy. We have to do whatever we can to find & keep joy in our hearts. For me that looks like counting my many blessings, listening to Christian Christmas music & volunteering to help others. Asking God to help everyone get & keep Joy of Christmas in their hearts all year long.

    Blessings 🙂