Thoughts on Motherhood

Thoughts on Motherhood

Mother's Day 2018





The toughest hood there ever was.

Motherhood is selfless, exhausting, thankless, and the reason I don’t shower as much as I’d like.  But motherhood is also magical, fun (so so fun!), adventurous, and incredibly fulfilling.  So fulfilling that there are actually moments when you look at your children and feel like your heart might burst right open.  It is a type of love, unlike any other, that is unconditional, intense, and unbreakable. 

Motherhood is watching your baby take his first steps while you squeal and cheer him on.  It’s flashing the checker at the grocery store because your nursing baby was hungry and decided to help themselves.  It’s sitting in an auditorium with butterflies in your stomach as she performs for the very first time.  It’s breaking up fights, pushing swings, tying little shoes, and making all the snacks.  Some days are long, but we all know the years are short. The good, the bad, the ugly... we’ll take it all because we get to be “mama”.  The many hat wearing, organizer of all the things, kisser of all the boo boos, mama.

Motherhood has deepened my relationship with and my love for Christ in so many ways.  I feel honored to be serving him by raising and guiding His children.  It has deepened my love for my husband because without him, without our love, there wouldn’t be a them.  It has brought me a sense of calm, while making feel more scattered and crazy than ever before.  It’s tricky and confusing sometimes, being a mama.  But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the whole entire world.  I am forever and ever and ever grateful for my sweet blessings, my darlings-Sloan, Phayre, and Briar.  

Mother’s Day is this weekend!  I reached out to some fellow Rise mama’s and asked them about their thoughts on motherhood.  Reading through their responses was such a joy and I am so excited to share it with all of you!  Sometimes we get so caught up in the everyday busyness of life that we forget to sit back and count our blessings.  I hope that you enjoy reading these thoughts on motherhood and that you are able to take a moment to reflect too.  Whether you are a mother or just have one, it’s certainly a day worth celebrating.  

Happy Mother’s Day!

Xo, Marisa



Aimee Elrod

Parker (4), Weslee (1.5)

I will never take being a mother for granted. “Mommy” is a title I was always excited for and one I am so proud of. These are my girls- Parker June (4) and Weslee Monroe (1&1/2) and they give me a sense of fulfillment that I hadn’t experienced before them. They challenge me and stretch me more than I ever expected, but they give me purpose beyond my wildest dreams. They are my greatest gift and even on the hard days, I’m so incredibly thankful for them. 


Kimberly Ray

Quincy (1)

Motherhood is a beautiful refining process that has required me to reconcile with just how much I don’t know, everything that makes me uncomfortable, and jumping forward into many fears and doing it joyfully because of the overwhelming love I feel for my child. Quincy provides the purest glimpse into the abundant joy of the Lord and makes everyday nearly weightless because of the privilege to parent such a light. 


Chelsey Hargins

Ella (3), Lincoln (9 months)

I absolutely love being a mom.  I love my two wild kiddos more than I could have ever imagined.  They bring a new meaning to my life and every moment spent with them is a gift.  Being a mother has helped me to gain perspective and more understanding about God’s love for us.  Every day I watch my kids do new and amazing things, celebrate those successes with them, and do my best to support them as they grow into who God has made for them to be.  I love watching them flourish and thrive in who they are.  But, every day they also make many many mistakes or do the wrong things on purpose, which can be exhausting and requires so much grace as parents.  Kind of like the grace God has for us.  As I practice giving grace to my littles, I can’t help but think about and appreciate the grace that God bestows upon me daily.  I know that when I make mistakes or fall short, God is right there with me, guiding me as I guide my children when they mess up.  Motherhood/parenthood is a constant reminder about God’s love.  All the time.  I’m thankful for a Father who loves me, even in my brokenness, and I will fiercely love my children in the same way.


 Elizabeth Brawley

Jonah (17), Ava (15), Brynne (11), Abram (8)

To me, motherhood means every sacrifice, no matter how small or large, is worth the cost to win my children’s hearts. 



Jessie Clarke

Dax (4), Nova (2)

Motherhood is the greatest joy and privilege, that God would entrust me with two of his precious children! I can’t believe I get to call them mine and my heart is so full. Some days are challenging, but always the most rewarding as He is faithful to bring new mercies every morning, guide me along the way and teach me what it means to love so selflessly.


Ashley Parish

Joshua (4), Silas (2)

I love being a mom. I love the constant chase of laughter, screams, cries, hugs, and kisses. It truly is a beautiful chaos that I adore. 


Janni Pettit

Lindsey (28), Lauren (24)

Grandchildren: Ollie (3), Remy (4 months)

I’m so grateful for God's intervention in my life. He changed my heart and the trajectory of my course prior to entrusting me to become a mother.

I was raised in an environment that didn’t mention anything about the love of God. I knew nothing of celebrating Jesus' victories, His teachings, His plan, His power, or His purpose.

The excitement to become a mother grew in me, and I prayed for God's will. I desired to love my family the way that He loved me, and to cover them continually in prayer.

When my girls were young, my husband and I took the opportunity to dedicate each of our precious daughters to Jesus--committing to raise them to also love the Author of Life.

I’m thankful they desire to continue learning about God's great love for them, as they continue in their spiritual development as adult women.

I am overjoyed, thankful, honored, and privileged that I was chosen for the exciting role to be a mama.

I am thankful to Jesus for bringing wonderful young men to my daughters to marry and build their lives with! 

I am incredibly proud of my sons, and how they love Jesus, and continue the work of demonstrating God's love to others.

I am grateful to be given two adorable grandsons, (and the possibilities of more grandchildren in future!) and to teach them of God’s love; because He first loved us.


Shelia Maia

Amelia (7), Elsie (5), Isla (3), Oakley (10 months)

Just like most things in Jesus’ upside down kingdom, Gospel-centered motherhood is a tricky reality to adjust our whole lives to. God’s most recent work in my journey has me thankful for the radical way in which we are called to love our children. I think it looks a lot like doing the opposite of what seems right or normal to the world. Pull close instead of push away. Be quiet instead of get loud. Speak love instead of blame. Build up instead of tear down. These small moments of obedience on our part are like bricks, each one building up faith within our children's hearts. There’s also a brick-by-brick deconstructing and rebuilding within us as parents every time we turn towards Christ in obedience. What a humbling experience every single time, knowing that it’s Christ in us allowing His love to flow out in such a tangible way for our children.


Hannah Nobes

Elijah (3), Sehlah (1.5)

Motherhood has taught me so many things, but I think the most important one is that... while yes, my kids need me, they even more so need me to be a passionate pursuer of Jesus who is committed to pointing them to Jesus over and over. It has taught me to be someone who transparently wrestles through my own sin, lays it down before the lord in plain sight, and then gets right up and worships him in gratitude and with a joyful heart... even when life hurts, because He is our King and he deserves it all no matter what. It has taught me that I need to be an open book with my walk with Jesus, unashamed of verbalizing what I’m going through. That I cannot be held back by fears of imperfection or not having the right answers, because that could be the very thing they relate with that leads them to meeting Jesus in their own life. And that is the ultimate goal! To me, motherhood means that I am released from the need to be perfect, and my new mission is to point my kids - in my actions, my words, my thoughts & prayers, my whole life - to the Perfect Savior.


Sue Overby

Sjana, 1980 spouse Brian Kids:
Hunter 12, Makenna 10, Karis 8.
Scott, 1983 spouse Heather. Kids: Stanley 10, Holly 8, Stuart 5, Samuel 2.
Soren, 1985 spouse Sarah. Kids:
Reagan 4, Ethan 2, Harper 1.
Seth, 1989 spouse Beka. Kids:
Jones 2, baby on the way in November.

My goal as a mom was always to be the best mom I could and leave the final result to Jesus. Took the pressure off anyone being perfect. And to play with them and love them while teaching them to work.  Steve and I also did a LOT of praying.



 Stephanie Bean 

 Calvin (6), Owen (3), Piper (1)

Motherhood: I have always wanted to be a mom. But I never understood the incredible strength it takes to be a mom. I would dream about my own kids someday. Pray for my kids. I always wanted 3 kids. I wanted two boys and a girl. When I was in high school I would pray for my husband and kids often. I felt like when I became a mom everything would be right with my world. Little did I know it would be the hardest and most incredible time of my life. The heartbreak and reliance on God. For 5 years I was a boy mom. Dirt, trains, all things boy. It was amazing. But God had heard my prayers and remembered I wanted a girl. I tried to give up that dream. Thinking oh to be a mom of a girl is just not for me. God was listening. He did hear my prayers all those years ago. I got pregnant and everything was normal she was healthy and determined to be apart of our family. Everything on the day my water broke was surrounded by prayer. The right people would be there with us. We needed that prayer more than ever. My uterus ruptured and I needed to have an emergency C-section. I clearly remember praying, "Lord I don’t care what happens to me, but please save my baby girl!" Through everything the Lord protected us. We both survived and are ok. I never knew how much I needed to be a girl mom but I am so glad Piper was determined to be apart of our family. Being a mom to two boys and a girl has challenged me and been the most blessed time of my life. Who knew this would be motherhood. I sure did not. But God did! 


Heather Fitch

Hazel (4), Keziah (2), baby boy due this fall!

Motherhood means countless things to me, but one thing I find myself returning to over and over is marveling at how it has transformed my understanding of grace. Having grace for kids, having grace for myself, having grace for other moms (and their kids), and having grace for my own mother and grandmothers and all those bonus mothers I am so blessed to have in my life.  Being a mother shines a spotlight on some of the hardest areas Jesus wants to work in me, but it has also helped me understand his love for his children and his willingness to sacrifice everything for us.  


Juliann Elrod

Quinn (5), Isla (3)

Motherhood has been the biggest (most challenging) blessing of my life. I get to spend my days loving and caring for two gifts from God who were handpicked for me to raise and I can’t think of any greater calling then that. 

Stephenie Olson

Owen (7), Macy (3)

Being a mom is more of a gift than I ever thought it could be. They make me laugh, challenge me to grow, and trust Jesus in the process. 


Julie Fehlman

Tobias (6), Elliot (4), Naia (20 months)

Motherhood….sheesh. That’s hard to describe succinctly. It’s this crazy place of having little people that need more than you feel like you can give and that you love more than you think is possible, that simultaneously drive you crazier than you ever imagined…and yet every night when I check on them before going to bed, I still think they are the most adorable little humans I’ve ever seen. I don’t always stop to think about what being a mom really is, because it makes me so emotional to have these little humans that I long to raise well and teach all the “right” things, and want them to grow up and be independent and kind and love Jesus. And at the same time, raising someone to leave your nest is the hardest thing ever. There’s so much tension in motherhood of wanting to hold your kids close and keep them safe and provide all they ever need, while raising them to be independent and one day leave your home and not need you for everything. It’s beautiful and achey all at the same time to love another human so deeply, and know that ultimately they’re not mine. It creates these incredible opportunities to trust that Jesus is actually going to take care of them, which honestly, can be hard for me to believe sometimes. Being a mom has definitely pushed me closer to Jesus, because in the moments of truth where I realize I have no control, I have to trust that all the things He says are true…that he loves my kids more than I do, that they are worth more than sparrows, that he will hide them under his wings….and that he will walk with them through the good and the hard that they face in life. 


Samantha Brown

Sawyer (3),  Jacoby (1)

Two quotes that summarize motherhood for me: “Children tie the feet of their mother.” and “Children are the art of selflessness.” I’m learning to be patient and serving. As I often fail at these, I pray my children learn of God’s redemption and love. 



Lindsey Tjaden

Ollie (3), Remy (4 months)

Motherhood is really hard. 

It’s knowing sleep deprivation all too well. 

It’s learning over and over again what it means to be selfless. 

It’s being woken up to find a toddler standing at your bed side.

It’s apologizing to strangers for your child throwing a toy truck across the coffee shop.

But motherhood is really rewarding.

Holding your child for the first time makes all your pain in childbirth worth it.

Inhaling the scent of their newborn skin—there’s simply nothing like it. 

Hearing your child say, “It’s ok mama, Jesus will heal you.”, keeps you teaching them truth in mundane moments. 

Seeing your oldest voluntarily care for your youngest is an out-of-this-world experience. 

And motherhood flows from the Gospel. 

Every time we see our bodies in the mirror, we’re reminded that Jesus’ body was wrecked for our new birth. 

Every time we wake in the middle of the night we’re reminded that Jesus was sleepless and beaten to bring our healing. 

Every time we feel that subtle kick in the womb we can be reminded that the Spirit is dwelling within us.

Every time we confront a tantrum, we can be reminded of the Father’s patient love toward us. 



Debbie Cheney

Samuel (13), Lilly (11)

I always knew I wanted to be a wife and a mom. I feel so privileged to do this job. Even the small tasks like making lunches is a blessing I don't take for granted. My husband and I struggled with 10 years of infertility. So I treasure the small moments everyday.  Happy Mother's day! 


Kelsea Givens

Lennon (5), Remi (3), Penn (1)

Being a mother is so special, I learn as much from them as they do
from me. They can find joy and happiness in the silly, simple things
in life and are constantly opening my eyes to what’s really important.
As a mom of three really young babes there can be a lot of days that
don’t go quite as planned but they are always full of grace and never
ending love for their mama and there’s no better feeling.


Lindsey Stillman

Niah (10), Lily (8), Carter (6), Oliver (3.5)

Motherhood to me has been one of the most sanctifying journeys I've been on. I've learned more about myself through my kids than I could ever imagine. It is such a joy to know that I've been gifted with these kids and also a healthy weight I feel to know that the Lord has asked me to disciple them. In the moments I don't feel like I'm a good enough mom, the Lord swoops in and reminds me that where I am weak he is strong...he reminds me that I have his Spirit living inside of me and that he's given me the power to be the mom that MY kids need me to be.


Brandy Schnaars

Noah (7), Riannon (4)

A privilege, a calling, gut wrenching rollercoaster ride. Being a mother did not come second nature to me and I was lacking in the examples of parenting area. Yet God has met me in this most precious wild ride of being a mother, guiding me gently into understanding what sacrificial love looks like. Knowing that these are Gods kids first and mine second is a constant battle of letting go and trusting that God knows and loves them more than I do. I can show them how Jesus changed my life, how his love lets me love and my prayer is that one day they will see Him as the love of their life, worth more than anything in this world!


Leah Tompkins

Josh (32) and wife Katie, Amanda (30) and hubby Tabor, Tyler (25) and wife Lauren
Grandchildren: Evie (5), Lucy (4), Abel (3), Nora (18 months)

Ever since I was a child I can remember always wanting to be a mom when I grew up. Well, I grew up (sorta:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) and God gave me that desire of my heart! Being a mother has taught me how to love fiercely! How to love passionately! and most importantly has given me just a glimpse of how much God MY FATHER loves me! Having this family of mine to go through life with, including all the hills and valleys, the laughters the tears, the loving one another deeply, has enriched my life more than words could ever say...It’s just a pure joy and I’m forever grateful to Jesus for granting me the desires of my heart.

Stacey Cutshall

Leeland (3), Rye (1)

One of my favorite things about being a mom is how much it points me continuously back to the deepest love, Jesus. Whether I’m being humbled by a tantrum, burdened by a sleepless night, feeling overwhelmed by my insane love for my boys, or any level of emotion on the spectrum of motherhood- it ALL points me back to Jesus. I’m thankful for that daily reminder and and so thankful for the gift of raising my boys!


Taylor Grey

Holden (3), Coven (3 weeks)

I thought I had a grasp on who I was before I became a mother, but I believe motherhood is a work in progress and continues to form and shape my heart and mind into who the Lord has called me to be. I didn’t understand the meaning of true love and grace until I became a mother. I didn’t understand how miraculous the gift of creation and life really is until I became a mother. Motherhood has allowed me to move closer to believing and understanding just how vast and deep God’s love for me really is. I’m so grateful to have found this side of love.


Ashley Fogarty

Peyton (3), Parker (9 months)

I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I never knew there was such love until holding and seeing my children for the first time. We give up so much in life when we become mothers, but I would give up my last breath for them because they gave me a new purpose, new perspective and new pride. I became a new person the day they were born. They made me a MOM! I know God gave me my children for reason. He is doing work in the girls and I every single day and second of our lives.

Marisa Brown

Marisa Brown

Hi! I’m Marisa, wife to my high school sweetheart, Eric and mama to Sloan, Phayre, and Briar. I make blue eyed, bald headed babies and love capturing their joy through photographs. I love sunshine, celebrating, and Jesus! Thanks so much for stopping by, I’m so happy you’re here!

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