May 6, 2013

:Tales of Motherhood // by Stephanie Holden:

Motherhood is not meant to be ventured alone. We were made for community- rejoicing in victories, embracing defeat- yet never alone. As one who finds new life in the stories of others I have invited a few mama's that have walked or are walking this path of motherhood to join us in this space. My hope is that you will find encouragement today- in this moment, right where you are.

Please welcome my sweet friend Stephanie. We met last year in Georgia and I asked her question after question about her journey, faith and family. She shared the beauty of her story woven into His with grace. I have turned over her words and passed them on to others many times. I am delighted for you to have a taste of His goodness in the words below.


I'm so honored that Melissa has shared this space of hers with me today. Her heart and the way she uses words to express the things in her life are such an inspiration to me. I had the pleasure of meeting Melissa in person and spending a few days together getting to talk about life stuff and God stuff (which in essence are the same).  Our hearts gelled and I've loved her ever since.  When she asked me to share a few thoughts on motherhood I was delighted. This topic is so near and dear to my heart.  Being a grandmother now, I have a lifetime of experiences to share...which to choose?  I was so torn.

Until today that is when these pictures were texted to me.  

Meet my mom. She's the one on the right.

She is gonna turn 70  in just a couple of months and took the day off work with a couple of her co-workers to go zip lining. 
Anything that I could share about my experiences with my three grown daughters would be filtered through my experiences with her.   And as you can see from the picture....she is full of life.

 She is the spunkiest woman I know.  She recently ran her first 5K.  
Well...walk/ran her first 5k.  But still.....she set a goal and she did it!

She loves to live life.  She has her own iPhone and has joined the world of texting.  The reason why she did this?  Because me and my girls, her grand daughters, text throughout the day. Everyday. And she doesn't want to miss a thing.  Now all five of us group text each other and some of these convos are treasures...and quite hilarious.

I say all this not to brag on my momma....but to say her take on life has totally shaped who I am as a has shaped my relationships with my girls.  Now, her way of living has not come easy....this ability of hers to love life and live with such passion and fun.

 No, she has gone through some rough valleys to learn this lesson of the preciousness of each day. She lost the love of her life, my daddy, at the age of 39.  He was 44. I watched her grieve something fierce and my heart broke as a 13 year old girl not being able to make things better for her. But life went on and I watched her choose to learn to thrive in spite of a broken heart.  There were lots of stuff that happened along the way such as having her 16 yr old daughter tell her she's pregnant and watching one of her sons self destruct to drug addiction. And then death struck again when my other brother was killed in a car accident and she had to bury her son. He was only 39 years old.  Again, I felt helpless as her daughter, to fix make her feel better. But some things can't be fixed.  They aren't meant to be fixed. We just have to learn how to live a new way.  

And that is what I have watched her do.  She keeps on has been a hard road to endure but she has taught me by example what it means to cling to my trust a Sovereign God even when I don't understand His ways.  To keep my heart from bitterness when what the Lord has chosen for me is not what I think is fair.  She has taught me how to still have joy in the midst of any circumstance.  
 She has shown me through the years to choose joy.

So now back to me as a mom.  I have three grown daughters.  
These were taken on  my middle daughter's wedding day last year.

 My people

Two are married and our youngest is getting married in September. I am entering the empty nest and now looking back on an entire chapter of  my life...of being their mom.  I think back on all the things I did to mess them up...things I should have done differently.  Wished I'd done differently.  I made some really dumb mistakes and yet girls love me. They genuinely love being with me.  They are my best friends.

Why is that? It's not because of me being anything great or special. It was God's grace working in our family.  He is the difference that gives me the power  and ability I need to choose joy and cling to him during the difficult times of motherhood that seem hopeless.

And He gave me a living example of what this looks like in my mom.  

Whether I realized it at the time or not...her way of living, trickled down into my way of living and has saturated my girls way of living.  I now want to be that living example to my daughters and my three grandchildren of what it means to choose joy.

To live life a new way when all that we've known is gone.

To celebrate each day whether that looks like taking a day off of work to go zip lining on a Tuesday morning or just simply  having the strength to get out of bed  and be present in the lives of the ones I love when everything in me just wants to hide from the world and hope my problems go away.

Just like my mom,  I don't want to miss a thing.

This life we have been given is too precious and too brief to spend one moment wasting it not living.

And just like my mom, we are all leaving a legacy. How we live our life in front of our children will effect generations to come. 

It trickles down and saturates the lives of our grandchildren and great children....the good stuff and the bad stuff.  Now I will be the first to say that we never have to be in bondage to our pasts....those who were raised with abusive moms or in homes where addictive and destructive  behavior were prevalent  still have the ability through Christ to be victorious...nobody has to be victims of their pasts.  Victory is possible but it is much harder when those strongholds are still there...those high places that were never dealt with and destroyed.  That is not what I want to pass down to the next generation.  

And in this month when motherhood is honored,  I'm thankful for the mom the Lord chose for me. I'm thankful that her example has spilled over into many lives that she has touched....mainly mine.

I treasure what she has passed on to me.  It's greater than any inheritance I could receive.

My mom's legacy was teaching me the importance of choosing laugh often just have fun in spite of "life".

I pray that whatever season you find yourself in that you will choose joy too.  Find something to laugh about.   Make someone else smile.

 It makes for a good life y'all.


*linking up with carissa for miscellany monday


  1. Beautiful, Stephanie! As a mother who often worries that I will "mess my kids up"... this was such an encouragement! Thank you for sharing.

  2. this is lovely.
    so encouraged to LIVE and choose joy.

    love this series! xo


words are like honey, sweet to my soul, so feel free to share yours.