I’m pleased as punch to introduce you to my latest project — this time, in partnership with (in)courage! A Mother’s Love: Celebrating Every Kind of Mom, is now here. And adorable. I compiled and edited this book almost exactly a year ago, and now it’s here! I compiled this book with all women in mind so that we can celebrate those who made us, shaped us, helped us grow, and loved us well — whether they’re our (or anyone’s) mothers or not. Read on for the introduction from the book! (affiliate links used)

image by Jenn Tucker, for (in)courage.

We are the moms who hug, dance, and snuggle. We are the moms who get overwhelmed, whose snarls sometimes come easier than our smiles. We are the moms who live in the push-pull of exhaustion and joy, in the tumultuous world of feelings and guilt and giving all of ourselves.

We are the moms who pray our children will fly while a tiny part of our heart grieves their flight from us, because we are the moms who love those children with every fiber of our being. We’re not sure where they end and we begin, but we know we didn’t begin until they arrived.

We are the moms who work around the clock in a million different ways. Praying. Cooking. Cleaning up. Carpooling to school and dropping off at daycare. Guiding. Loving, always loving. Scolding and worrying. Kissing boo-boos and wiping tears. Breathing deep, in and out, over and over. Chasing their feet and their hearts. Answering emails in the middle of the night. Pulling them back and drawing them in and sending them out. Scrubbing toilets and remembering details and packing lunches and signing papers and pouring out.

We are the moms who love children we didn’t birth. We are the neighbors, aunties, sisters, friends, and church grandmas who love these kids as though they’re our own. We snuggle up during the sermon at church to beloved little ones and pass them hard candies to squelch the wiggles. We attend birthday parties and graduations and weddings, bearing gifts for these dear hearts, setting up tables and making food and then cleaning up at the end of the day. We rock little babies and help big kids pack for college, tearing up at the thought of them driving away. We light up when our phone dings and it’s a text from that precious high-schooler. We read stories and sing songs and carefully choose cards to pop in the mail for every holiday.

We are the moms who run on grace and caffeine. Who build a meal off of the scraps pilfered from kids’ plates. Who go through more coffee shop drive-throughs than we care to admit. Who are exhausted from being “on” all day at work, and coming home to be “on” all night. We drive through McDonald’s for milk because we’re out at home and just cannot drag ourselves into the actual grocery store. Who pay for a latte in change dug out from between the minivan seats. Who cannot make it to church without bickering with our family on the drive. Who are consistently seven minutes late to every appointment. Who perpetually lose socks to the washing machine, and have been known to purchase new underwear instead of washing the pairs we already own. Who take our alone time seriously and guard it fiercely— just like we do our kids.

We are the moms who long for more. More grace. More patience. More coffee. More time (always more time). More space—in home and heart. More money. More sleep. More Christ in us. More life in our days. More quiet.

At the same time, we are the moms who long for less. Less laundry. Less fighting. Less yelling. Less clutter. Less selfishness. Less guilt. Less busy. Less stuff. Less dust. Less hustle.

We are the moms who sit in the hallway in tears during bedtime, drained. The moms who sit in empty houses in tears because there are no more babies to tuck in at bedtime. We are the moms who ache for those we’ve lost, for those we’ve wanted, for those we’ve asked for, for those whom we’ve begged God about and bruised our knees in earnest prayer. For the babies we couldn’t carry. For the children we’ve lost to heaven and red tape. For the grown children we couldn’t hold on to as they flew our coop to make their lives. For way-wards and prodigals and could’ve-beens.

We love this life even when we don’t like it very much. We love these kids with all of our being — even when we may not like them very much.

We thank God for the gift of love He gives in the form of sticky hands, flown coops, late nights, early mornings, cards in the mail, texts sent, calls placed, and prayers whispered.

We are these moms, and this book is for us all. May you find yourself and someone you love amidst these pages. May you be inspired, uplifted, refreshed, and renewed to go forth and love those kids. This book is for you, one-of-a-kind mom!

You can now purchase A Mother’s Love: Celebrating Every Kind of Mom wherever books are sold! A Mother’s Love is filled with stories from the (in)courage community, brief devotions, Scripture, beautiful artwork, lined pages for your reflection, and Biblical encouragement. It’s sure to help any daughter give a tangible expression of love to her mom, and allow any woman to share a meaningful gift with a mother-figure who has been impactful in her life, a new mom in her circle of friends, or a close loved one facing the joys and challenges of motherhood.

Celebrate all the mother-figures in our lives. Get your copy of A Mother’s Love today!

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