So God Made a Mother:
When the Giving Tree is Really The Giving Mother *Updated

So, sure, there was this talk of The Giving Tree —

but there wasn’t one of us who didn’t know all along it was you, The Giving Mother.






You who leaned over a stove and stirred and let spices fall like leaves and you ladled and we slurped and it would be remembered when we were old, the meatballs that you shaped and the noodles on Sunday nights with the Magi and how you wiped your hands on your apron slow.

The Giving Mother who lets us take up whole places inside of you, who keeps making spaces, who never stops making spaces, growing soft and round, stretching thinner and growing fuller, your hearts and hips widening with a widening grace.

I never get over the shade of you, the grace of you, the limbs of you, the God-made Giving Tree —

Because God needed someone to love the least and the little into real whole people, and He knew that to love is to suffer so God made a mother.

God had said —

I need someone to get up at midnight and scoop the most fragile of humanity close to her warmth and rock though she can hardly stand and nourish though she’s mostly sleep-starved and change the diaper and the sheets and the leaked on, leaked through, and leaked down clothes though she’ll have to change them in the morning and next week and that won’t change for years.

So God made a Mother.


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That God had said I need somebody with a strong heart.

Strong enough for toddler tantrums and teenage testing, yet broken enough to fall on her knees and pray, pray, pray.

Someone who knows that in every hard place is exactly where you extend grace, who looks a hopeful child in the eye and says yes, even though she knows every yes means a mess but this is how you bless, who has the courage to keep letting go because she’s holding on to Me.

So God made a mother.


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God said I need somebody who can shape a soul and find shoes on Sunday mornings and get grass stains out of Levis.

And make dinner out of nothing and do it again 79, 678 times, and keep kids off the road and out of the toilet and in clean underwear and mainly alive though she’s mainly losing her mind and will put in an 80 hour week by Wednesday night and just do one more load of laundry.

And one more sink of crusted burnt pots.

And keep on going another eighty hours because raising generations matters and weaving families matters and tying heart strings matters and these people here in hidden places matter.

So God made a mother…

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It had to be somebody who could comb back pigtails and tie up skates just-right tight.

Who could pretend she remembered algebra and how to get home from here and that really, she was just fine, that it must just be the silly onions.

Somebody who would run for the catch, jump on a trampoline and play one fierce game of soccer and not give a thought to all those labors and her weak pelvic floor. Somebody who’d stay up late with a science project that never ends, who’d get up early for the game in the rain, somebody who’d wave at the door until the taillights were out of sight and still be smiling brave.

So God made a mother.

It had to be somebody willing to keep loving when it made no sense because that’s what love does.

Somebody who knew that life is not an emergency but a gift — so just. slow. down. There are children at play here and we don’t want anyone to get hurt and the hurry makes us hurt.

Somebody willing to feed and lead, lay down her life and pick up her cross, give of her time because they have her heart. Someone who knows that we all blow it — and what matters is what we then do after.

Someone who could humble herself into the tender sorry that covers a multitude of sins.

Someone who would live like a Giving Treewho would would give grace, give life, and give thanks —  eucharisteo:  the giving thanks for every grace that gives back always joy.

Someone who would stand in the mess and the midst and give thanks anyways — because eucharisteo always, always, precedes the miracle of discovering that the Giver Himself is always, always more than enough.

Someone who would live it a thousand times: Give thanks — and discover that the Giver Himself is the Gift and He alone is always, always enough.

Someone who would pour out and bend down and surrender not only to the physical pain of childbirth but the far deeper, unending heart pain of letting go, letting go, letting go —  from the womb, from the arms, from the front door. Someone who would know that umbilical cords can be cut — but heart strings never can.

Someone who’d bow her head at night over the girl sleeping with the doll in the crook of her arm — and give thanks to her Father for this hidden life that’s turning a gear for the whole spinning world.

So God made a mother.


The Giving Mother, made by God to be a safe shelter….

with your roots dipping like lines into aquifers to siphon love up out of the caving cup of His hands.

His hands …. and those always underneath, everlasting arms holding us all.


*UPDATED: Be a Giving Mother this Mother’s Day —  to another mama in need?
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Dee from Red Letters and I are beyond thrilled to be partnering with Compassion International to Give Back to Mothers in Haiti!

To be the Giving Mothers — who are the gift back.

Proceeds from the eucharisteo always, always, precedes the miracle” sign will support a Compassion Child Survival Program near Desgronge, Haiti, located on the north tip of island — and will help 49 mothers and their (49!) babies with postnatal care, literacy for mothers, and income generation — sharing the hope found in Jesus alone!

Perhaps the sign (and maybe the One Thousand Gifts book? Or the new 1000 Gifts Devotional?) might bless a woman in your life? Because —

Eucharisteo always, always, precedes the miracle  — of discovering that the Giver Himself is always, always more than enough.

{We are giddy to share this with you! We get to give a gift and be the gift back — 1 gift that is literally 1000 gifts!
**UPDATED: You AMAZING people! Together we’ve now all sponsored these 50 mama and their babies for MONTHS! Thank you for giving the “eucharisteo” sign and being the gift back!  Dee says that if you order today, (Tuesday) by 2 pm EST your USA order will be there in time for Mother’s Day — to bless a woman here — and a mama in Haiti!}